I’m reading a book. Philip Yancey’s Disappointment With God is blowing my mind.
The last few weeks of abiding rest have felt a whole lot more like really hard work. I’ve been so enormously disappointed with my circumstances, I’ve been unable — or perhaps more accurately, “unwilling” to see God working in my midst and on my behalf. In my darkest moments, refusing God (and entertaining the evil voices in my head) has been much more appealing.
In moments of desperation, I cry out, “Where are you, God? Why don’t you show up?” These questions are asinine, because I know He is right there. He never left, and He never will. Still, like an irritated child, I refuse to crawl into His lap and let Him comfort me, grieve with me, and help me through. I know He heals and saves, so I grow weary and impatient when He won’t intervene where and when I want Him to. It’s hard not to take it personally.
In his book, Yancey addresses how God used to show up in power in very obvious ways in the Old Testament, specifically with the Israelites. When manna is raining from the sky and dark clouds show the way to go, it makes it hard to deny God’s presence. Still, obvious, physical proof of God’s fulfilled covenant and presence made them no more obedient, no more willing to seek Him first.
“As I studied the story of the Israelites, I had second thoughts about crystal-clear guidance. It may serve some purpose — it may, for example, get a mob of just-freed slaves across a hostile desert — but it does not seem to encourage spiritual development.” (Yancey, 2009)
I am humbled and embarrassed by my lack of faith. My childish thoughts and flesh-driven demands of God are those of a desperate, stupid woman. Those who follow Christ are not exempt from pain in a world filled with such evil. I already know this — and I’m not sure how I considered myself exempt.
But God can take evil in this world and use it for His good. Working through my disappointments with God instead of in spite of Him gives me no alternative but to turn back toward Him. And when I seek Him first, all the rest falls into focus.
Here’s the book info. If you’ve got any beef with God, or even some unanswered questions, buy it now. It’s only $3.79 for your Kindle — just do it.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matthew 6:33