Ever feel disappointed in God?
Or let down by people and situations that don’t go your way and that translates to “really God’s fault” cuz, you know, He’s God and everything, so the buck stops with Him.
Yeah, me too.
I think Katy and Maggie may have felt that way this weekend also.
They are basically being evicted from their apartment. No one understands exactly why (especially since they’re model tenants and the ONLY tenants in a 4-plex row house), but Maggie’s theory is that the owner wants to convert it to a meth lab.
There have been two “perfect” apartments that have come on the market this past week, but this is D.C. where there are approximately 4,569 type-A lawyers and lobbyists kicking, clawing and back-biting their way through the quaint 19th century row house front doors, and closing a deal is a long-shot for two “Minnesota-nice” girls
However, as consummate Crosby competitors, the girls have scoured Craigslist, ready to spring into action. They’ve jumped through every hoop, filling out long applications, giving financial records and references, showing up early for the open houses, going through an interview in one case, and enlisting a lot of people to pray.
No go. And no reason why. And we were praying for Pete’s sake!
After their loss this weekend, the girls have visions of being modern day Israelites wandering in the wilderness, wondering if they’ll ever close in on the promised land.
Big deal you say? The Jews and the Palestinians are still looking for a home while people pray. Yeah. I know.
No real comparison. But as I’ve walked in the sadness and frustration with Katy and Maggie, praying from afar, my temptation has been similar to my temptation when thinking about all people without homes.
Or people for whom things don’t seem to be working out. Or people who are waiting for something or someone they long for. All people who are praying and feeling discouraged or disappointed.
The pattern seems to go like this…I tend to:
1. DO SOMETHING (desperate)! To sign a petition. To bake cookies in order to bribe a prospective landlord. To get a lawyer involved. To write a letter to SOMEONE IMPORTANT (like President Obama) asking him to intervene. Anything!
2. Spiritualize. This is not our “home”. Our true home is in heaven and we’re just pilgrims passing through. “In this world you’ll experience trouble…” Blah, blah, blah. Maybe true, but not always helpful.
3. Let go (when I start settling down). Again. And pray “Abba Father, I’m doing what I can do, but I need You to do what only You can do. I really don’t understand this, but I’m not You and I trust You have a better plan…a plan to form something in them, or in me, or in all of us through this experience, or provide something better, or draw us to Yourself.”
4. And eventually, to hold on. Hold on to the same God who took care of Hagar when Sarai kicked her out - “the God who sees me”.
The same God who took care of Elijah on the run. The God who seems much like a gentle mother, giving his toddler a snack and a nap.
The “but God” God.*
There was a flood, but God remembered Noah and sent a breeze.
There was injustice, but God used it for good in the life of Joseph and the Israelites.
Jesus was crucified for our sins, but God raised Him from the dead.
This may sound similar to spiritualizing, but it’s not. Because when I hold on to the character of God I can’t clutch my my disappointment.
The size of my God puts the size of my problem in perspective.
What helps you when you feel disappointed in God?
*Thanks to Mark Batterson for this reminder!