Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Has anyone else ever felt this way? Are we willing to admit to ourselves that we have? As believers far too often we get really fake with what we're feeling. We're expected to smile and say, "All is well!" when all is not well. Sometimes we think that faith requires us to actively deny the reality in front of us. Ignore the pain; ignore the questions; ignore everything that doesn't fit into our neat and tidy, black and white theology. That's not what faith requires and the result of hiding our pain is that others around us feel like they have to do the same thing. Sometimes you end up with entire faith communities that are hurting, but everyone is suffering alone because no one feels safe enough to be honest about their pain, doubt and disappointment.
Let me be the one to say that this passage above echoes exactly what my heart is saying to God right now. I take a look at some areas in my life and can't help but ask, "God, where are you"?
What do we do when it hurts? I want to take a few weeks to talk about this. Let's talk about all the things "good Christians" aren't supposed to talk about: our pain, our doubts, our disappointments. Why? Because we cannot say that we are in relationship with God without bringing our whole selves to God, everything: the good, bad and the ugly. And we cannot say that we are in relationship with one another if we are not willing to be open and transparent with each other even when it gets uncomfortable. This is what it means to have authentic community.
To anyone who may be hurting right now please know that you are not alone. Whatever you may be facing in life you are not alone. We all have our pain, our struggles, our unanswered questions. Let's walk out this faith journey together.
Following the Way,