Some people will surely hate the semantics of this, but I've been trying to be a Christian. I am trying to find a place back to where I can say I trust God and love Him and believe that He loves me. But I do get stuck on what has happened to me in the past. Once bitten, twice shy. Sometimes, I get stuck on what happens to other people, even people I don't actually know. And so this is just what has happened recently.
A person I "know" only in the cyber-sense, whom I will call "Sue", has longed for a daughter for years. She posted last Christmas about her longings for a daughter and how infertility and difficulties with adopting have made this a longing that remains unsatisfied. Just before Christmas this year, however, an opportunity dropped in her lap. It looked like her prayers would be answered with this "Christmas miracle" and she would be able to adopt a baby girl. I hoped along with her. For her dream to come true would vicariously validate my own dreams of having another child. It would be a strong point in God's favor for the ol' "God is Good" column.
So, for a few days, we on the board were hoping along with Sue, waiting to witness a miracle. But when Sue showed up on the board, it was to say how it looked like the adoption was not going to happen. Her pain was palpable.
I completely get how this hurts. Her question is my question. Why does God stir things up, only to disappoint? Why does He seem to start something if it's not going to end well? I ask this all the time. Why do I long for another child? Am I wrong to long for another child, when it would take a miracle for me to have one? Am I wrong to give up hope, on the other hand, and admit that it just isn't in the cards? Is it selfish to want more kids? Or is it faith, the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," in action?
This is why I can't get over the "trust and love" hurdle. Trust and love is natural if the object of your trust and love evidently is trustworthy. When you only get hurt in return, how can trust and love be expected? Honestly, these are times when the Christian walk looks to me like bad advice given to battered women. "Stand by your man! Remember the commitment you made! Deep down, he really loves you!"
I am currently reading The Promise by Father Jonathan Morris. This line jumped right out at me today:
Religious faith is not blind. It is not irrational. It is about trusting and loving someone we have come to know. If you haven't come to know Jesus personally and as a providential God - one who is on our side - it is irrational to put your trust in him.
This is really the crux of the whole thing for me. I did come to know Jesus personally, but it does not look like God is on my side, therefore it is irrational to put my trust in Him. This is not quite how Father Morris meant it, but that is why it is a problem for me. I really, really wanted to see things work out miraculously for Sue on the internet community. It would give me hope.