I love podcasts. ⠀
Last year I was walking and listening to Jamie Ivey interview Christine Caine and Christine said something that stopped me in my tracks. I stopped walking, frantically pulled out my phone to rewind the podcast so I could write down what she said. Are you ready?⠀
“You never know until a trial whether you are serving a God you trust or a God you are trying to control.”⠀
Pain, of any sort, reveals something critical about our relationship with God. Do we trust Him? or are we trying to control Him? Will we believe in His Goodness, even when we can’t see it?
The Bible repeatedly promises difficulty and trial in our lives as we follow Jesus and yet, when pain and difficulty strike we recoil as if God has betrayed us. Anger, grief, disappointment, even disillusionment are natural in the face of suffering–what is important is what we do with those emotions. Feel them, face them, walk through them but it is crucial not to be subject to them.
Throughout the Psalms, the Book of Job, the Book of Ecclesiates and beyond we witness the gambit of feelings. The trials they faced pummeled their emotions. They grieved, complained, raged and cried out to God for help, but to a person the conclusion was the same. They all bent their knees and declared (my paraphrase), “You are God and I am not. I will trust in You.”
We usually don’t realize we have been carving God into an image we are comfortable with, creating the god of our dreams who will never let us hurt. That god is false. The God of the Bible promises trial and promises trial is the road to maturity and hope.
Seeking out and knowing the character of God is the antidote to god carving. Ingesting scripture and looking honestly at this untamable God we serve buttresses nor souls. When trial comes, we may recoil from pain, but we will not withdraw from God–instead, we will lean into the good God we serve, letting Him comfort us in our pain and letting the trial develop His goodness in us.
My own carved image of god shattered when I had a miscarriage. Bending my knees to His sovereignty in the middle of that grief marked one of the holiest moments of my life.
May the God of all hope meet you in the middle of your pain. May He comfort you, sustain you and uphold you. Bend your knee, friend. He is trustworthy.