“While I gave God the cold shoulder, his warm embrace refused to let me go. He stayed by my side, waiting, wooing, and drawing my hurting heart back to him. God always wants to heal our broken places and fill our empty spaces. . . . I couldn’t see that then. So, as God persisted, I resisted.”- Sharon Jaynes
In Chapter 2 of When You Don’t Like Your Story, Sharon Jaynes reflects on the death of her unborn child. After four years of negative pregnancy tests, God surprised the Jaynes family with new life growing in Sharon’s womb. But, after Sharon discovered she was bleeding, she went to the doctor. He confirmed her worst fear. No heartbeat existed.
Consequently, the author asks, what do you do when:
- heartbreak slams into joy?
- your soul cracks open and there just aren’t enough tears?
- hurt steals your hope and you want to give up on life?
- deep soul lesions make a mockery of your faith?
However, Ann Voskamp wrote the following in One Thousand Gifts: “I wonder . . . if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that penetrate our world, our emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God.”
Above all, Sharon underscores, no easy answer exists to why bad things happen. Yet, she observes, the Bible acknowledges at least three possible reasons we experience pain:
1. God’s discipline for disobedience. When God disciplined someone in the Bible, that person always knew the pain they experienced = God’s discipline for disobedience. However, Sharon cautions, Satan desires that we blame God for every bad thing that occurs in our life.
2. Consequences of our own poor decisions. Author and psychologist Henry Cloud once noted that we’re ridiculously in charge of our choices. But, Cloud stresses, we never get to choose the consequences!
3. Fallout from the devil’s deception. We all know what evil looks and feels like. Yet, a Barna poll revealed that 40% of American Christians believe Satan to be only a symbol of evil. Rather than a living being. And if we fail to believe Satan truly exists, he’s already gained a foothold in the battle.
Today’s question: When have you given God the cold shoulder? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Common sense – adding to God’s truth?”