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4 May


Man in DespairHave you ever been so desperate to hear from God or to have Him move on your behalf that, having tried everything else, you finally just pitch a fit.

Have you ever been angry at God?

Maybe you feel you’ve been tried beyond your limits: a person in your life who – for days, months, years – has tested your patience and love beyond bearing? A job which – while you’re grateful to have one – you dread going to each and every day? Or you need a job, any job? Perhaps you’ve been waiting a long time for the desire of your heart – a husband or wife? A dream you believe you’ve been called to? A child?

Maybe you’ve been praying for the salvation of a loved one for half a lifetime – and they seem to be getting further away from the Lord, not closer. Perhaps you’re desperate to be healed or to see a loved one healed – and pain is all you know in the meantime. Maybe you’re enduring a heartbreaking marriage – and despite all of your pleading and prayers, the dream just isn’t happening.

Maybe you have financial problems: bills you can’t pay or college or retirement you can’t afford? Or just when you begin to get on your feet, something else breaks down, wears out, needs repairs or someone gets sick? What if your heart’s been broken just one too many times and you just can’t bear one more minute of pain?

What then?

What if, in the midst of any or all of those trials, heartaches, persecutions, and crisises, you’ve said every prayer you can think of or you’ve put on the game face and willed yourself to worship one more time or you’ve fasted till you’re skin and bones or you’ve declared every promise in the Bible? What if you’ve tithed every penny you’ve ever earned and forgiven till you’re blue in the face and haven’t missed church in seven years? What if you’ve read the Bible through three times in a year, pray two hours a day (on your knees), and clean toilets every week at church.

What if all of that – and you still just can’t seem to get God’s attention.

Have you ever been there?  So worn out from waiting, crying, pleading, dealing, declaring, and waiting some more that you finally decide God needs a little drama?

Sometimes, in the midst of desperate circumstances over a long period of time, when everything we know to do has failed to move God’s hand – we take circumstances into our own hands.

Maybe we, like Abraham, get tired of waiting for God and so we take “control” of the situation to “help” Him. In other words, we move ahead, as army privates (so to speak) ahead of the General. Abraham, thinking he’d “missed” God or having grown weary or simply gotten frustrated, conceived Ishmael. And we all know how that turned out.

Maybe we, like the Israelites in the desert (or the Promised Land or Babylon or Galilee – pick a place), have complained and murmured against God and then turned to other gods: money, food, entertainment, education, relationships, “altered consciousnesses”? Or, maybe like Job’s wife, we simply decide that the best thing to do is to curse God and die. In other words, we’ll show God: we’ll pitch a royal fit and then give up on Him! That’ll get His attention!

I honestly think that Mrs. Job, having been through the trials and tribulations, losses and persecutions that she and Job were – topped off with a bit of insult and injury from Job’s buds – might not (don’t really know for certain) have meant what she said. What she might’ve actually meant was, “Okay, God has obviously not seen my suffering, heard my prayers, responded to my sacrifices, accepted my plea deals, or acknowledged my pain, so maybe I need to get extreme! Maybe if He thinks I’m so desperate that I’d be willing to curse Him and die, then He’ll move on our behalf!”

Have you ever been ? So worn out from waiting, crying, pleading, dealing, declaring and waiting some more that you finally decide God needs a little drama?    

We’ve probably all been there at some point or another. Responses range from a mild tantrum targeted toward God to “quitting God” (that’ll teach Him!) to other ultimate or extreme behaviors.

Having been at this point, I know it’s hard to be comforted by words when all we want is action. And I wouldn’t presume to “lecture” or trivialize anyone’s pain. However, it’s in these moments that we need absolute truth to cut through the lies and despair that these seasons in life can bring. And so this much is as true today as the first day you ever heard it: God loves you and you don’t have to “get” His attention. You already have it. He knows every tear you’ve ever cried, every trial you’ve ever faced, and every burden you bear. He knows your extreme despair, loneliness, depression, heartache, guilt – all of it. And realize this as well: Jesus went to the Cross and chose to die a torturous death so that we would have victory over all of that discouragement, despair, defeat – and even death.

The fact is that it’s normal to feel some frustration over the pain of it all – even extreme frustration at times – but it’s in the midst of those moments when we want to pitch a fit, throw a tantrum, break something, leave, chuck it all, quit, that God responds to one thing: faith.

The simple question of faith is this: Do you still trust God in the midst of it all? That means trusting Him when you’re feeling hurt, tired, broken, betrayed, confused, disappointed, angry, without (so it seems) hope – when you’ve hit rock bottom, when life doesn’t seem worth the trouble, when you have no more words left to speak, when you’re done.

In that moment, when you look up to heaven and whisper, “I still trust You, God,” that’s when you’ve moved the heart of God.

Don’t give up! Abraham didn’t. David didn’t. Esther didn’t. Paul didn’t. And Jesus didn’t.

The end of each of their stories is this: for all eternity, they now stand as the ultimate heroes of history, shining examples of trust, role models of faith. And all because they simply didn’t quit.

Someday the same will be said of you – and Abraham, David, Esther and Paul – to name just a few – will all ask to shake your hand. As for King Jesus, He’ll smile, hold you close, and proclaim for all to hear: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

In that moment, it will have all been worth it.

P.S. Hope this helps.

Cynthia Noble
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