I understand why believing in God, in prayer, and in religion is hard.
In all honesty, I can’t see the logic in it. Logically speaking, how can you “prove” He is here? That He is listening? And if your nose isn’t in a bible, the words of Jesus from a well-meaning passerby may be taken as off-putting, and well, just plain crazy talk.
For the person battling a hardship, I think it’s even more difficult to see God in your life. In that moment, it is easier to focus on all that is going wrong, rather than finding the good. People will say things like, “I’ll pray for you,” or “Everything happens for a reason,” but they feel like empty sentiments. How could this all-knowing powerful God allow suffering into our lives? Why, if he loves us so?
A few months ago, I woke up feeling just, heavy–heavy in sadness, in burden, in stress. I felt so unable to control my situation… the bills were beyond past due, and the bank had started mailing letters about foreclosure. My husband and I were fighting over counting pennies, and the mountain of red-lettered envelopes felt like they were blocking every bit of light from coming in.
As I rocked my daughter to sleep, I began to cry. How would we ever get out of this? I knew God had given me that special girl for a reason, but what was the purpose of this suffering? After I laid her sweet body down, I tried to continue on with my routine. I just kept running through all of it over and over and over again. I was exhausted from the thinking, and I fell to my knees. In the middle of my living room, while my daughter slept, I prayed, and I cried. I begged God to help us. I pleaded that He give us some reprieve. I told Him I was grateful for the blessings he had given us in our daughter, but our marriage was hurting. I gave it all to Him, and when I was done, I felt a bit unsure of myself. I had not done something like that in quite some time, years in fact, and I didn’t know if God would even listen to a poorly practicing Christian like me.
I began to clean myself up in the bathroom mirror… my face was red and swollen. I could hardly recognize the woman looking back at me… the beauty and glow that once stared back at me had now become so faded with time and stress; I felt like I had become a hollow shadow, and doubted that I would even deserve some grace.
My daughter’s fussy cries brought me back into reality, and I sang nursery rhymes to her as I changed her diaper and began her bottle. We settled into our normal routine, and as I fed her, my phone rang–my husband. Our state tax return that was months behind had just hit his account. It was enough to catch our bills up. I began crying again.
God sensed that I doubted Him and He answered me anyway. He loved me anyway. And in that moment, my faith was restored. I will never second-guess the power of prayer again.
Now and again, I catch myself getting heavy again, trying to carry it all, but I am just an a small bug in comparison to His amazing will. He will carry me through whatever I need, as long as I ask.
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?