Are you one of the walking wounded? Or, worse yet, you’re wounded, but no longer walking–just sitting around moping, muttering, “Why does God not love me anymore? I must have done something really bad.”
For this post, let’s call him Zane. He’s in his late 50’s, divorced, broken and sad, and living with his mom. He put his coffee down and stared at the cup. As his eyes began to leak he mumbled, “Why does God hate me? What have I done? Why is God ignoring me?”
“He’s not ignoring you; he has you in the palm of his hand. You just refuse to accept it,” I said.
“I know the words, I can quote them, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…’ Well, if this is rest, He can have it back.”
“I’m tired of the words. They’re just Sunday morning words anyway, church words, empty and useless in the real world.”
“How long have you felt this way?” I asked.
He lifted his head and looked me straight in the eye, “Since I lost my job 18 months ago, no one wants me. God doesn’t want me; I don’t even want me!”
“Zane, it’s time for a little self-analysis. You are wrapped up in yourself and you hate it. Actuallly, that’s good. You need to get out and spend time with people who know your story, friends from “back when.” Rediscover the Zane of old, and look for God to show up with plans for the next version of Zane. You’ve got to turn loose, brother. Accept a God who is bigger than you. You may not like you very much, but He does and you can’t stop Him from loving you. So quit blaming Him, and find the new you.”
“Come on, I’ll help.”
“You just don’t understand,” he cried.
“Thing is, brother, I don’t have to; neither do you. Did you understand when you were a teenager? It’s life. It’s seeing the invisible God who is right here, right now.”
There is a scene in Toy Story 2 that lives on as a reminder of why we are here.
Woody has been stolen from the yard sale, kidnapped actually, and locked away with strangers. In his words, they were “freaking him out.”
The Prospector sees Woody’s distress and says, “Why, you don’t even know who you are, do you?”
The truth? He didn’t know. They were strangers, but the new toys knew more about him than he did. How could that be? Woody had never known why he had a hat, or a badge, or a holster. He didn’t even understand all the words that came out of him when his string was pulled. After all, his world was Andy’s room. Woody was just a toy.
But in this strange place, without friends or Andy or comfortable surroundings, he discovers who he really is. He’s a star, a hero, a sheriff, the best “rooten, tootenest cowboy in the wild, wild west.”
It was an epiphany. With the help of these strange new friends, he discovered he is part of a story. He’s a major player in something bigger, much bigger than himself.
This new awareness changed everything. He was valuable, not because he was rare; he was valuable because he was part of a story that was bigger than his current circumstances. It was epic.
Just like us. And the great thing about this revelation is our stories are still being written. God is constantly turning mysteries into adventures.
Talk to God about what you might say if someone like Zane were to dump his discouragement in your lap.
During these times of extended darkness, keep your eyes open. Get with old friends from the past, and look for new understanding. Expect God to give you an epiphany or two. You are part of a story bigger than yourself. Get it and get over it…and tell it.
You are marked, you know. You have been autographed by the creator, a valuable one of a kind, even if you need a little restoration. It’s all part of the story.
Category: Faith Notes
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