How often have you heard this phrase: In His time, He will make all things beautiful? Somebody may have mentioned this to you at the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, through illness, a family conflict, a son or daughter lost to the world or any such dire circumstance. Many times, you want to shoot back, “Ya right!” or “Really now?” or “How can death ever be beautiful?” or “But why is God putting me through this in the first place?”
When you are in the midst of circumstances like the above, you feel a sense of disconnect from God. Sometimes there is also anger, frustration and feelings of hopelessness. The Psalmist went through exactly those feelings when he asks God in Psalms 13 (paraphrased): Why have you abandoned me? Why are you allowing my enemies to beat me? Why are you not listening to my prayers? Have you forgotten me? I feel like I am in a slimy pit and each time I try to climb to the top, I fall right back down. Why are you not helping me get out?
As a family therapist, I have learned that even though we may be Christians, these are fair questions. Our feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment, even with God, are acceptable. God would rather us be authentic than hide our feelings and pretend that all is okay, that we are too blessed to be stressed. You see, when we are honest, and say what we feel, it helps us process our negative experiences/feelings. This results in a lighter mind and not only provides us with the ability to move forward in a more positive way but opens our minds to the working of God’s Spirit.
The psalmist David did that. We notice how, after he processed his anger in Psalms 13, he was able to say in Psalms 14, “The fool says in his heart there is no God” and in Psalms 16, “In you O Lord do I take refuge for apart from You I have nothing good” and then we all know how he highlights the beauty of belonging to God in Psalms 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing”
Life is filled with positive and negative experiences. As we live out our Christian faith, we do this dance of questioning, fearing, losing hope, wondering but we must come back to trusting, believing, hoping. What helped David, the Psalmist do this dance so effectively was that, come what may and no matter what the state of his mind was in, he never ceased talking to God, he never ceased praying.
Are you grappling with something in your life today? Are you wondering if God is really out there listening to your cries for mercy or are you, like the Psalmist wondering if God has abandoned you? Speak to God, share your innermost thoughts (even those of anger and disappointment) with Him and watch your burden get lighter as you learn to trust him again. And yes, you may hate me for saying this but In His time, he does make all things beautiful.