Friday, November 14, 2008

Disappointed by God & A Day of Shopping

I finally got some Christmas shopping done today. I had already gotten a good deal on the whole Chronicles of Narnia dramatized on CD, a set for my nieces, and one for my nephews. I also replaced my set with a set that will work better on my bookshelf. I plan on passing my old set onto the school if my nieces ever give it back. :-)

Mom, Vicki, the 3 girls, and I went to Boardman for the afternoon to do some Christmas shopping. I needed to go badly - other than the Narnia CDs, I hadn't bought anything, but now I am almost done with the kids. I got really good deals at Kohls - and I love good deals! What I bought there for the boys (toys) were 30% off, with an additional 20% off, and then we had cards that gave 15% more at the register. I actually got my purchases there for more than half off. :-)

We got home close to 5 - the girls are spending the night, and good grief, are they ever picky! We had spaghetti, which was very good, and all 3 girls picked the hamburg out of the pasta. I don't know if Vicki just uses sauce, or what the deal was with that.

Tomorrow evening is the Booth Brothers and Hoppers' concert, which I am looking forward to a lot. I have been rubbing it into my friend Cindy since she likes the Booth Brothers so well, but she can take it. She just can't take losing in Rook to me, which she was making a career out of before I moved back, and saved her some dignity. :-)

I am currently reading a non-fiction book. Big shock there. I admit I read mostly fiction, but have been doing so since I was a kid. One of my friends bought me a couple of books he said I needed to read, so since he bought them, I have begun to read them. I am in the middle of "Disappointment With God" by Phillip Yancey. Parts of the book seem familiar, but I don't think I have read the whole book.

It is interesting to me that other people have gone through the same things as me - why do we always think we are the only person who could possibly have experienced something?! the author has actually mentioned specific things in the book that I have found myself thinking. Such as: why do we always thank God and give Him credit for good things happening and answering prayers, but when the opposite happens, we don't blame Him? And does it do any good to ask Him for anything when it seems He already has it laid out what will happen.

I think we all have had experiences where we look at a situation and wonder where was God? I have had them. I have battled things that no one should have to battle, and wondered why it seemed I was alone on the battlefield. Wondering where God was as the devil crashed through every defense I tried to put up.

I don't have all the answers yet, and in fact, don't have many answers at all, but the author brought out some interesting things. We all at times have wanted God to do something miraculous thinking that would solve the problem, but as Yancey pointed out, the Israelites had God with them all the time, doing all kinds of miracles, but were constantly complaining, grumbling, and going back to their idols. Even in the story of the fiery serpents, all they had to do was look at the serpent on the pole, and they would be healed, and some refused to do that. So, if God would do some miracle, would it change anything for those of us who struggle with these issues? Maybe temporarily, but the minute something would go wrong, our doubts would start up again, and we would want another miracle.

So can a true Christian be disappointed in God? I have heard people sing the song "There Are No Disappointments In Christ", and found myself thinking, "yeah, right". Does He disappoint? Can He? Can we expect too much of Him?

I really am not sure how to answer my own questions at this point. People disappoint us, for they are human, and we can expect too much of them, but if we have faith and expect God to do something, and He doesn't, then doesn't it make sense to be disappointed in Him? It sounds un-Christian and irreverent.

A person who comes to my mind many times, and I may have mentioned it before, is Joni Eareckson Tada. How does she do it? Is she disappointed in God? If not now, was she? I cannot imagine living life as a paraplegic, depending on other people 24/7, yet she paints, has authored several books, and has an amazing ministry that she wouldn't have had were she out of that wheel chair.

It isn't always easy to stand back and just chalk it up to the fact that something wasn't God's will. I look back on my life, and so many times it seemed like I was so discouraged and wondering where God was, nothing was going right, no matter what I did or how I prayed, and I would just give up. Even now, older, and somewhat wiser, I find myself wondering why God didn't do something. It seems like the devil has fought harder for my soul than God has.

I would guess I have never truly "died out" to God, though I thought I had reached the point of total surrender. A lot of us have that one thing we hope God never asks of us, and I truly felt I had reached that point. I told Him He could do anything with my life, even if it involved....And then something happened recently that showed me I didn't honestly feel that way. Something happened that totally shredded my heart and emotions. I walked out of that situation fighting tears and thinking "there is no way on earth....." God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knew whether I meant it or not. I thought that I had, but now, I don't know I could handle it if it happened.

It's getting late, and I am still rattling on about this deep subject. I would ask that anyone that reads this, would pray for me when you think of it. I have let circumstances, and things I battle with, wear me down, not to the point of giving up, but to the point that something needs to change. Reading a book may help some, and I think it is helping, but I know the best help comes from God.