"Why are you hurting me like this?"
Recently I questioned Him. "You say you are a loving Father, yet it seems you are playing with my feelings and thoughts. Does this bring you some kind of weird pleasure to cause people to hurt?"
Yes, maybe it is stunning to admit to these thoughts and you might be gasping at my bravado in speaking to the Almighty this way. I am aware of those same thoughts, yet I am not telling Him something He doesn't already know about me. He is God so He knows what I am thinking before I put them into words.
The thing about clay is that it is inanimate. It doesn't have thoughts or feelings, hurts and joys as it endures the pressure from the potter's hands. I'm not clay-like. I am living and I was created with emotions and thoughts. I have a hard time enduring things at times. I am only being honest here.
I've been wrestling with these thoughts the last couple of days because I had my heart-to-heart talk yesterday morning as I walked before church.
As He let me pour out my hurts, I was reminded of a verse that He brought to mind months ago* when I was also going through a similar time in my life. If I give up on God, where else can I go? As Psalm 73:25 tells us, "Whom have I in heaven but you?" When the disciples were faced with some hard teachings from Christ and Jesus asked if they would forsake Him, Peter replied in so many words, "Uh, where else would we go, Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life." (See John 6:66-69)
I hate when I am a rebellious piece of clay, when I struggle against those hands that are trying to make me into an honorable vessel...I hate when I struggle trusting in God's goodness.
I did read this a few minutes ago. I thought the timing was interesting since I'd been having these thoughts that I shared above. From a short book written in the month following the September 2001 attack on American soil, Terrorism, Jihad and the Bible by John MacArthur:
The question we ought to ask is not why disasters sometimes happen. What we ought to ask is why disaster doesn't happen all the time! This is the real marvel. It ought to amaze us that God, who owes us nothing but judgment for our sin, ordinarily chooses to bless us, bestow upon us His lovingkindness, and blanket us with His mercy. That ought to keep us in constant astonishment and wonder. And it ought to keep us on our faces before Him in gratitude (pg. 65).
And also this:
The appropriate question is not, "Why did God allow so many people to be killed?" The real question is why He allows any of us to live at all. God is amazingly merciful to this fallen, sinful race. He shields us to a very large degree from the awful effects of our sin. We live under constant mercy, and when the ugly effects of evil are clearly shown to us, we should not be shocked. We have grown so accustomed to grace that we don't understand the full effects of our own sin. But every once in a while, God draws back the curtain and allows us to see what evil looks like in all its horror, so that we can appreciate His justice when He punishes sin. We must never be resentful or think God is the one at fault when the consequences of evil are manifest. After all, we have all been willing participants in the evil, and that is what causes calamity to occur. The fault lies with us, not with God (pg. 77).
Accustomed to grace? Hmmm. Well, I admit I do tend to take things for granted. Reading that was helpful and gave me something more to consider.
* The amazing thing about this verse is that exactly as happened last time, God brought it to mind and later I was at church and the very same verse was quoted by my preacher during his opening prayer. With the thousands of verses in the Bible, what are the odds of that happening? Twice at that?