Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God Doesn't Play By Our Rules


It's no secret that since Joshua died, I have felt every emotion possible towards God.

At first, his love was palpable. It is what carried me through the attacks on our family and the early days of grief. I could literally feel him wrapping his arms around me and carrying me, giving me the strength to do the next thing.

At Joshua's funeral, I felt nothing but love and adoration towards God. He was still good, even if my baby were laying in a casket 5 feet away from me.

But then, a month later, my love for God turned into rage. How DARE God take my baby from me. What kind of a God would do that? How could he allow us to suffer like we did.

Rage turned to sorrow. Sorrow turned to questioning. Questioning turned into searching. And searching turned into trusting in God's sovereignty. Trusting in God's sovereignty turned into realizing that God doesn't play by our rules.

It's taken me 3 years to understand that God can still be good even when he doesn't play by our rules. In fact, I have repented of the belief that God is supposed to operate by our rules. What a tiny little box I put our almighty God in! I've done to God what I struggle with what the church does to me! Ugh...

Why do we think that God should follow our rules? What makes us think that we know what is best for our lives? Why do we feel the need to control every single situation that arrises, rather than just trust The One who Is?

My baby died in my arms. 14 months later, my dad died suddenly at the age of 55. Those certainly weren't my rules. That would not have been how my life played out. I would not have chosen either of those paths, but God chose them for me.

Over the past 3 years, my heart has been shattered. My life was turned upside down and I have had to figure out how to survive. But you know what? I didn't have to do a single thing but turn to God. Throughout it all, God was calling me to draw near to him. He was calling my name, telling me to rest in his love.  He was calling me to trust him fully, and know that he is good. He was breaking me so I could know more of who he truly is.

God loves us, but he doesn't play by our rules. And you know what? It's better that way. He breaks us. He shatters our hearts. But he binds us up. He brings us closer to him through it all. He restores our hearts and minds when we have nothing left to give.

Over the past 3 years, I have felt like God has played dirty. Maybe in my mind, he has. He had to play dirty to get me to the point of complete surrender. But it's not his fault. It's mine. I have been so self centered and narrow minded that it took being broken and shattered to get my attention.

I still struggle with the grief and anxiety. I still struggle with the pain of losing Joshua and my dad, but I'm thankful, truly thankful, for the lessons that I've learned about how God operates. I'm thankful that He's been faithful and true to me. I'm trusting that he's not finished yet, and that he is still working in my life. I just pray that I'm open minded enough to remember that God doesn't play by our rules.


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