You know those times when you feel like God is silent, even that maybe He’s not there. Those are rough times for the soul. We feel abandoned, perhaps destitute, alone, and maybe get to the brink of hopelessness. Visiting the church this past weekend, I realized that these times of feeling forsaken, abandoned, are just what we need from time to time. It’s the moments when we feel God is giving us nothing that we are given a choice. Do we pursue God Himself, though we’re getting nothing from Him at the moment, do we love Him for who He is and not His gifts, or do we run?
Getting nothing and loving it
Sometimes getting nothing, nothing tangible, is the best thing our doting Father can give us. The gifts we receive are merely meant to harken back to the central Truth that the ultimate gift we can receive is the person and presence of God. The blessings, as we call them, are minuscule foretastes of who God is. And the times when we aren’t receiving those gifts are the times when we are given the opportunity to enjoy God without the distraction of those gifts.
Receiving nothing and why bad things happen to good people
The age old question of why bad things happen to good people was answered for me Sunday morning. Look at the story of Job, I challenge you to find a better example of a good person receiving worse. The essence of the account is that God was confident that Job loved God for who he knew God to be, not the things he had been given. Increasingly so, everything was taken away from Job by satan. Every last possession and blessing, including his personal health, was allowed to be stripped from Job. Job’s response brings tears to my eyes; Job praises God, tears his clothes, shaves his head. Instead of cursing God, Job shows the ultimate signs of repentance and submission to God. You see, sometimes the good life gets in the way of our heart’s affections, and we need to get back to what’s most important. We need to return to our first Love.
I don’t expect to have swayed too many people to understanding why bad things happen to good people. I don’t think I’ve explained well why getting nothing as we see it can be the best gift God can give us. However, I think a part of that understanding must only come from experience. I believe that you must reach such a bottom to grasp fully this truth. How can a heart know what is absolutely necessary until it has nothing but the bare essentials? I pray that you don’t have to be cut down to such lows, but I know my understanding only stems from such circumstances. Even at the depths, there is still the light that is the recognition of God’s goodness and love.