I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about the faithfulness of God. Huge topic in my brain. Whether He is more or less faithful in any situation. Thinking He is not the one who changes. Thinking He is always faithful.
I need to confess to you that it feels like He is less faithful if the test goes badly. Maybe you feel me.
Is God less faithful today in Iraq than He is today in Oklahoma City? Is He less faithful in the life of the twelve year old fighting for life than He is in the life of the guy in the church service who is healed of low back pain? If we prayed over both of them? If we loved both of them? Why is it that He seems faithful in the healing and absent in the pain?
I need you to know that I resent the fact that we pray for a test score, sometimes. And we call it faithfulness when we do better than we expected.
I need to confess to you that He feels less faithful today. That He feels less faithful when the language shifts to the sterile coldness of medical Latin.
Maybe it’s the words we use. Is it a blessing to have a new car or a new job? Is it? Or is it just another camel to get through the needle? I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I’m asking if, just maybe, I need to remember that much is required of those of us who have been given so much. Life gets longer, and it’s more to give. Abraham finally had a son, and it was one more thing to place on the altar.
She reminds me that we were never promised an easy road. We were never promised that the PET scan wouldn’t glow or that the letter would say yes or that the war would stay across the ocean. She reminds me that being promised resurrection means walking through the shadow of death.
I am looking at the stars, wondering if all these ‘blessings’ are getting in the way. Wondering if the blessing is these empty moments that remind me why I’m here. That remind me what is promised. That reminds me that even here, God is with them. God is with us. I can just barely believe in that. I can just barely believe that this is faithfulness. That He is here. That this child is not forgotten. Is not alone.
God is faithful. Faithful to remove the distractions. Faithful to focus my eyes in the darkness. Faithful to keep me from being consumed by the wants and the shallow things that I can’t keep out of my brain. Even this tragedy, this pain that isn’t mine, has left me raging at the unfairness of it all. Instead of helping. Instead of loving. Instead of reaching, I am turned inward again. It would be funny if it wasn’t so completely frustrating.
My world has gotten so small since I left college. I have gotten so consumed in the minor inconveniences. It irritates me that a test grade can leave me questioning God’s faithfulness, while half a world away a war rages on and it doesn’t enter my radar. While a kid I know well and really love gets impossible news.
And I’m not going to say that these things happen to sort out my priorities. You and I understand; that is ridiculous. Bad things happen. Not because God is more or less faithful. Maybe mostly because people are less faithful. The faithfulness of God is the moment I remember what really matters. The moment I loosen my grip on my GPA and my stuff. The moment I remember what matters. Because I’m not that person. I’m selfish. I’m lazy. It takes a great God to lift me out of all of that. To open my stubborn eyes.
He is doing it in the middle of pain and of plenty. He is faithful. (I’m less of that)
(that being said, I ask for your prayers for a dear little boy and his amazing family)