Wrestling with God

January 12th, 2015

No longer crushed in the black and hopeless pit.

No longer suffering under the scathing scorn of those who pull the pin and toss their malicious grenades before scurrying back to their stinking hellholes.

No longer giving the enemy a place on my shoulder, next to my ear.  No ear, no millisecond of time for accusing lies from within or without.

The lies that echo round and round and round until they roll easily off the tongue.

“Where now is your God?  The God you claimed would never abandon His people?  You must have failed Him.  Don’t you dare blame Him for this.  This was your failure.”

No more lies about who I am.

No more lies about who God is.

 

A helpless god?

A helpless god is no comfort to me.

A private god that fits in my hand, that molds itself to my will.

A sweet, fluffy vanilla marshmallow god that I can squeeze and sniff when I feel stressed.

No comfort to me.

 

A simple god?

A simple god is no comfort to me.

A god formed by an insistence that All must fit inside my tiny, blind, helpless but rebellious paradigm.

A god formed by the superstitious acceptance of simple cause-and-effect that my earthbound mind can easily encompass.  My goat must be dry because those twins were born to my neighbor.

Even the god of scientific superstition made of desperation for logical connections and rejection of the offensive idea of a transcendent and all-powerful God.

Such a god is no comfort to me.

 

But even if it was…

 

Even if it was…

 

I made that ancient god myself.

I would not trust it nor give myself to it.

Will I trust the scrabblings and creatings of my own mind?

Or the One who has revealed Himself to me as sovereign over all?

I cannot do both.

 

I was created for One who is greater than myself.  He decides who He is, I don’t decide who I want Him to be.

In this truth lies my greatest torment and my greatest safety.

I don’t get to skip to the end, artificially peaceful smile plastered over the wrenching agony.

I am Jacob, wrestling to the finish with a muscled and complex God.

How dare I?

But He invites me to the struggle; He does not rebuke me for it.  He named His people Israel.

 

I can’t control Him.

Torment.

Torment to a Self who longs for autonomy.

A Self who is more influenced by her man-centered, choice-worshiping culture than she knew.

The Self who is sure she could write a better ending.

 

I can’t control Him.

Safety.

True safety for a child who is strongly bonded to her father.  Am I?  I want to be.

I am leaning purposefully into my Father’s lap, relinquishing my anguished and pitiful efforts to survive by staying in control, knowing–knowing–He decides what is best for me out of His great love for me.

I trust the One who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up to die for me.

I am safe in Him.

And because of the safety, comfort.

 

A simple, weak, helpless God?  Trying His best, but He doesn’t always get His way?  The enemy is stronger?  Bad stuff keeps getting through when He’s not looking?

 

No.

He is All, or He is nothing.

That means He is All Love.

 

And I will not let You go until You bless me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Responses to “Wrestling with God”

  1. Rebekah D. says:

    Wow. This is so profound, so thought-provoking. Susanna, *thank you* for sharing. What life doesn’t come up against these kinds of questions, even without enduring what you have had to? Thank you for taking the time to share these thoughts with the rest of us, even those of us whose wrestling is currently less urgent or less painful than your own. These truths are worth grappling with…

  2. Jane says:

    Thank you so much for this, Susanna….

  3. Wesley Hay says:

    Thank you for sharing, this verse came to mind.

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    Amplified Bible (AMP)

    For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

  4. Angie says:

    Goodness, yes, just the battle that goes around in my mind. But in the end, as you do, I know, I know that He IS everything. That in Him and thru Him are all things. Thank you for putting it so well.

  5. Susan says:

    Yes! Do not let go because it is clear He is in the process of blessing you. How He fights for us!

  6. Thank you, for these words.

  7. Such good but hard truths. The God we learn of in the Bible will always reveal Himself more to us than any God from religious, church type doctrines that can cause our ears to “tickle”. It sounds like He has you in such a deep, contemplative place right now. A place that one day you may actually miss because you are so near Him. : )

  8. Priscilla says:

    That was beautiful. I could feel it…and it touched me. I also could put myself into the words because I have taken my turn wrestling with God. Thank you.

  9. Priscilla says:

    I had to read it again and this time noticed the link attached to Israel. It was even better.

  10. I love this. Susanne. We lost our foster daughters around the same time you lost your son. I KNOW the HURT and pain. I love the last line the most…

  11. Melissa says:

    My first knee-jerk reaction is to wail “God is good, satan is bad, don’t confuse the two!” I cannot believe that God would do anything to hurt His children. I used to think that pain and suffering were conditions of this fallen world (and they are), but then why do we pray and beg God to show His power in tough circumstances? If I follow my line of reasoning to its end, God would not act, He would simply tell us that we chose this path in the Garden and we must walk it. I look back over my life and see where I have bought into the lie that He is far from me, that His rod and His staff are put away, the table before my enemies is bare, or holds just a crust of bread and a cup of musty water…

    Now I see where the wheels fall off my line of reasoning. Why would God allow satan to torment Job? For reasons we can’t fathom. Everything–EVERYTHING–is sifted through His hands.

    Thank you for your honesty, Susanna. I’m beginning to understand.

  12. Kris says:

    Such strong words that feed the soul. How good that you’re walking in a way that overcomes and that points others to do the same in trusting in the All Good God. I hope it is encouraging to you to hear that through your suffering others are blessed… That seems so odd to say… I hope it comes across right… Please be blessed.

  13. Robin says:

    So amazing…your thoughts turn into words that are achingly beautiful. When walking through the fire, those things we thought we knew, thought we lived…God loves me, He is good, He is in control of all things, He will never leave me…why do I struggle to hold on to them, to keep them in my grasp? To realize that His (ISA 55:8) thoughts are not ours, His ways not ours..so far above us and that if given the chance, would I change the things He has done? The terribly painful, heartbreaking, life shattering things…what can He do with them and will I let Him? Thank you for your words.

  14. sabrina says:

    Tommy’s death has helped in my learning to trust God beyond what makes sense…to learn that my logical reasoning is my flesh and will go to the grave…it is so small and limited. God is so much bigger. These are lessons which I needed recently. Dear, Susanna, thank you for being so open and willing to share, it blesses so many.

  15. Aunt Erma says:

    Dear Susanna, You have a heart that is sensitive to God’s Spirit. Thanks for your honesty. God has blessed you with a beautiful, godly heart. It is that heart that loves each of your children.
    Continue in your blessings to bless the world with your writings.
    Love, Aunt Erma

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