I just don't understand God. And I just can't reconcile the things going on in this world right now.
I started my spiritual and faith journey so sure of EVERYTHING. Of course, my faith journey began when I was about 10. Remember the old bumper sticker from the tragic decade that was the 90's? "God said it. I believe it. That settles it. " Yeah I was all over that. Nothing could shake my belief. Nothing. Thank goodness I was never as sure of those crazy 1990's baggy pants as I was my religion during that time.
Then something happened that rocked my world. The guy I had been dating for nearly a year was involved in a horrible car accident that ultimately took his life. I still didn't question God in that confusion... I mean, that's just not something you do, right?
Years later I got a job working for the state in an agency that helps abused and neglected children. I investigated claims of abuse when they came into the agency. By the end of my first few months I had looked into the eyes of one too many precious, trusting souls and had seen pain revealed beyond the limits of what any child should ever bear. I vividly recall looking up from the photographs of a five year old child. There was not one place on this baby's body that didn't tell a horrible story. The anger and rage inside boiled until I sprang from my chair shouting, "Has any one of you ever lost your cool, went out to one of these houses and just beat the crap out of someone?" True story. Not one of my finer, Christ-like moments. My supervisor calmly shut the office door and gently advised me that I might want to consider an alternative career. I agreed. I was gone by the end of the week.
Very recently a family in our community lost one of their beautiful daughters to a tragic accident. Though I didn't know her, the story broke me to my core and I found myself aching and crying for the heart of this mama in ways that only mamas understand.
I find myself more and more loosening the grip on the rules of religion to ask my Great Big God some big, tough questions. "Why? What is Your end game in a plot that involves pain, fear, and death in so many wonderful people? Where is the justice in this world? Forget justice in the world...I just want justice for Scott, Grace, and all the five-year-olds covered in welts and bruises. And what about that guy that ticks everyone off and gets away with it? Why do You require me to forgive them 70x7 and they get to keep on being an idiot?" My grip on rules has not only loosened; it is almost completely open now. He showed His wounds. Why can't I show mine? Asking God a question isn't the end of my salvation for goodness sake. What kind of God holds the vastness of time and space in his back pocket and then holds a grudge because I can't understand His complexity? Not my God. I've learned that these wounds and transparent moments of doubt allow Christ to enter in ways we usually block. Just in case you missed it let me be clear: Christ enters through your wounds not your perfect places. It's crazy, beautiful, upside down irony. The more you grow in Christ, the more you discover that you are utterly clueless.
And this clueless state brings us back to those really hard questions that almost always begin with "Why". Well. I don't know. But the more Christ enters through my openly broken places the more I hear Him saying, "Oh baby girl. I Am with you. You can just rest in that." Of course I will still throw a tantrum every now and then. And I will ask questions and make ridiculous demands and want my own way. But ultimately He holds me so tightly and gently that I don't need to understand it all. If I can talk freely with my Saviour then I can be comfortable in this world without an explanation for everything. And that, my friends, is the peace that passes all understanding.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.