Wednesday, June 26, 2013

when God doesn't show up

A couple of months back, I wrote a post about my brother and about how God was working in his life. Well guess what? God decided to change the plan. Without telling us. Without asking anyone's permission. Without any notice.  Call me a heretic or whatever, but I'm telling you straight up, I'm plenty pissed.

See, four months ago, my brother landed his dream job. We all kept saying it was a God-thing--from the fact that a buddy just happened to mention a job opening, to the fact that he had one last resume handy in his car, to the fact that he got an interview and then got hired on the spot. The timing was perfect, all the pieces fit.  And we couldn't have been more happy or proud. 

And then it all came crashing down this week. The boss-man hired someone with more experience and figured he'd let my brother go. So, after stepping out in faith to start living out his dream, my brother is suddenly jobless with a wife and a new baby to support. 

And that makes me really mad. Mad at the boss-man for not seeing the potential in my brother, yes, but most of all, really mad at God. Because right now, in this moment, it seems like God just doesn't give a crap. I mean, this was His big chance to show the world what He can do through Dan. And He blew it. He dropped the ball. He didn't show up. 

And the worst part is that He gave us a huge dose of false hope--my brother tasted what his life could be like, but then had it all ripped away. For some people, life always seems to be a struggle. For every good thing that happens, there's always another ten bad things. That's how it seems to go for my brother. Where is God in all this? Why isn't he doing anything? 

So, what do you do when things don't work out they way you plan? When life isn't easy or fair? When God doesn't show up?  When God takes away your brother's chance at living his dream? When he lets your new kitten fall in a cistern and drown in front of you? When he lets your dad suffer and die from cancer? How do you keep the hope alive? How do you keep your faith intact when God doesn't show up? When He's utterly silent?

Jeremiah 29:11 promises that God knows the plans He has for us--"plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." In the middle of all the crap, these verses may sometimes seem trite. But the reality is, we humans don't see the big picture. We don't know the future. My brother might get a job offer tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. And it might be even better than his last job. That's the thing, we just don't know. 

But the good news is, God can handle my anger. He understands my frustration. And disappointment. Even when they get in the way of my faith. 

And just because He didn't do things my way, just because he didn't show up when I wanted Him to, doesn't mean that He's not going to show up. He is God and I am not. I don't know exactly what He's trying to teach me, my family, and our friends though all of this. Patience? Trust? Reliance on Him for meeting financial needs? 

Being a Christian is relatively easy when life is good. It's when life is hard that it really counts. Maybe that's the point. It takes faith to believe in a God we can't see. It takes even more faith to keep believing in that God when He seems so far away. When He doesn't show up. 

Just like the song in the video link says,

"And I can't understand
All that You allow
I just can't see the reason
But my life is in Your hands
And though I cannot see You
I choose to trust You

Even when my heart is torn I will trust You Lord
Even when I feel deserted I will trust You Lord
Even in my darkest valley I will praise trust You Lord
And when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone
Yet I will praise You Lord."

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