Suffering and God
Some weeks ago I wrote in a post I lost my faith. The problem was I still believed in God, and still do, I just completely lost faith that he was good, and that he loved me.
I wont try to describe the pain of that here, or the pain I still feel about being abandoned by God in my suffering. It is not to be logically understood, only experienced.
I just realized in that moment that God had not protected me, plain as day, and that he would not– and that despite my extreme suffering, I would have to scrape through with out Gods help. I know I am not alone in the human experience of having the notion of physical protection from God shattered.
It is a heart wrenching feeling– a cosmic abandonment.
The issue though, is in my constant desperation, I can never feel completely separate from God because I know if I let go completely I may loose my mind– because it will be all too real, I am fragile and God is not here.
At the same time, being forced by my circumstances to want to be close to a God I do not trust and feel assaulted by, is also harmful.
No one else may understand my rage at God, but if God is completely good and completely compassionate, as Jesus was portrayed in the Bible– then I feel he understands– and sympathizes with me.
Today I read Breaking up with God by Sarah Sentilles. It was a raw, honest and painful book to read. But it was vulnerable and she was brave enough to ask many questions about the relationship between God and suffering, and what it means to view God as “all-powerful”, or to call ones self “blessed” or to see God portrayed only as a man, or of one racial ethnicity.
She brought up some powerful points that resonated with me in my suffering. If God is all powerful, then what are we to make of suffering? If some are “blessed” with health and rescue and joy, are others “cursed” with sickness, pain and misery? I will not view the word “blessed” the same again. The points she makes about the blessing/cursed polarity is striking and healing.
During my suffering I have often, and frequently, if not constantly felt punished by God. If God blesses, then he curses. I felt hated by God and I began to hate him for it- at this time the hate is still there.
Sentilles also wrote about feminist concepts of God. She also wrote about black theology which I appreciated as an African American young woman.
Her creativity and boldness in trying to promote human peace and to reconcile her own lost faith was a warrior journey in writing.
After reading the book I realized I still feel I need God. The pain and pressure of my misery right now is too raw. My will has been damaged in this fight and I am still desperate to be healed and protected
even though I know only I can heal and protect myself
that God may be here in my suffering, but he will not help me. I know that clear as day.