Thursday, August 23, 2012

When You Can't Feel God...

Life's trials can pile up on us sometimes and be overwhelming.  When they collect like this life feels like quick sand sucking you into a dark pit with no way out.  Sometimes it doesn't even feel like God's hand is there ready to pull you out.  I have found myself in the quick sand quite a bit recently.

We are still without a full time job and benefits.  My husband had one interview this summer and he did not get that job.  Jobs are scarce. Then my girl ended up in the emergency room with dangerously low blood counts in need of a blood transfusion. That's when I began to wonder where God was and why He was allowing this.  I despise the why questions.  They never get me anywhere but frustrated! Yet somehow I can't help but ask them. 

The next few days at the hospital brought more uncertainty as to what was causing her low blood counts.  The concern was that her marrow was not producing red blood cells.  The question was why.  In the middle of trying to be strong for my girl and not let my fears play across my face, my mind raced.  What if she has some terrible blood disorder?  Are they consulting an oncologist because they think it's cancer or just to be safe? What if it is cancer?  What will we do? How will we care for her if it is? Our insurance ends in two weeks and we don't have another job lined up. Doesn't God know how tired we all are? Why can't I feel Him present when I know He is there?

On one day in particular I had to leave my husband at the hospital with her so I could be alone with those questions and fears.  I didn't taste my food when I ate, my stomach hurt constantly, tums were my new best friend, my back and neck ached from the tension.  Worse than that I could not sense God's presence in our circumstances and I felt abandoned.  My heart knew He had not abandoned me.  My heart knew that just because I couldn't feel His presence didn't mean He wasn't there.  Yet my mind and my emotions battled with the overwhelming feeling of being alone.  So I did what I knew to do.  I spent the hour long car ride from the hospital to my home crying out to God and letting Him know my fears, my hurt, and my feelings of abandonment. I  still couldn't sense that He was there.  Then I remembered reading about a woman who chose to sing praises in the midst of her most difficult times and how worship is sometimes an act of will.  So I tried.  I sang and I sobbed.  I didn't feel like worshiping Him because it felt like He wasn't there.  I chose to worship Him as an act of faith that He was there.  Soon the crushing weight of it all lifted and I felt peace.

As I sit here writing this, my girl is home and recovering.  It was a virus that attacked her bone marrow and caused all of this.  She is expected to make a full recovery.  I sit here on the other side of that part of my trial looking back .  As I look back I can't help but think that there was some battle going on that made worship an act of will and an act of faith.  I know I was consumed with fear that day in the car and faith is the opposite of fear.  I believe that worship was the break through.  I needed to praise God in one of my darkest times whether I felt Him there or not.  I needed to choose to continue loving Him, acknowledging who He is, and following Him regardless of what my daughter's diagnosis would be.  This sent a message to the author of those fears and lies of abandonment that I was choosing to trust God whether I felt Him or not because I don't need to feel Him to know He is there. That is when the peace of God was able to break through and the weight of it all was lifted.

Someone reading this is facing the same feelings and fears that I did.  I want you to know that God has not abandoned you.  Just because you can't feel Him or see the purpose in your trial, doesn't mean He isn't there.  He never left.  We choose to sink in the quick sand when we let fear consume us.  We choose the strength of His hand gripping ours to lift us out when we have faith that He is there even when we can't feel Him.  Grab a hold of His hand today and let Him lift you out.  Choose to trust Him no matter how much you feel like you are sinking in the quick sands of life.  Let go of fear and choose to have faith in the only One whose grip is strong enough to lift you out!

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