I do not like it. Not a bit. I am a creature of habit, and when the things I am accustomed to are suddenly changed I do not handle it well. By God's grace I am trying to make progress in this. I am trying to learn to "roll with" various inconveniences. I thought I was making a little headway...until major, painful "changes" occurred that made me stop (more often than I would care to admit) and wonder if life was a big Divine joke. Seriously. I wish I had more faith. I wish I could believe with my whole heart in what I know in my head. Trust eludes me these days (or maybe it's vice-versa). I find myself wanting to curl up into a ball (literally and metaphorically) and just not feel.
Some days I think a little more clearly--I know without a doubt Who is holding us, Who has been holding us and I have a peace that comes only from Him. More often than not, however, I am simply numb. Maybe it is part of the "grieving" process. I wonder at my ability to move with normalcy through each day. In fact, it concerns me. And sometimes, when the pain is so sharp, I question whether God really cares, and if our lives really matter in the grand scheme of things. Forgive me if I sound melodramatic. I hate that pain causes me to doubt the character of God. To question His love. I suppose I thought I was beyond asking these questions. Obviously, my rather sheltered world has been rudely awakened.
Which brings me back to the subject of change. In the sixth chapter of John, Jesus is teaching the people. We are told his teachings are "hard". They are foreign.They are not what the people are accustomed to hearing. They would require a change. Unfortunately most of the people aren't willing to risk Jesus. After all, their is at least well-defined. What Jesus is saying is just a little abstract. It doesn't seem very safe. They want a God who specializes in giving them what they want and no challenging our hearts, thank you very much! So when it gets uncomfortable, they bail.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Lately, my mind comes back to Peter's words: "To whom shall we go?" It's either fish or cut bait. Sure, this life isn't pleasant,and more often than not, it pretty much sucks. Yet He loves us. He always has. We are the ones who reject. Yes, he allows pain but it is because he wants us close to Him. We were created for that, and to show His glory. Often, that means dying to what we want and the way we think things should go. However, there is unimaginable freedom when we are "slaves" to Christ.
Though I haven't physically spent years running away from Christ, I have "walked away" in my mind, just like the "other disciples". Frankly, it is a dark place. I don't like where I would end up. Though I've seen so very little in my lifetime I have seen enough to know it simply isn't it worth it to wander. No, "He isn't safe, but He's good." (Lewis).
I can trust that though there will be days that I doubt, get angry and want to just give up that He won't give up on me. He passionately pursues His children and longs that they know the depths of His love for them. His love is not human. It is completely "other". So, by His grace I hope I continue to say with Peter:
"You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God." (The MSG)