There’s a lot of pain in this world. I’ve walked through my share. And I’ll admit, I don’t have the answers; I sure don’t have life figured out. But from personal experience, I have discovered a critical truth.
If we blame God, if we get stuck in the “why” of it all, we dangerously descend into the deep recesses of a potentially abandoned well, immune to the circle of light which sits at the surface.
We tout rights. Demand explanations.
Truth is, none of that satisfies.
In the end, we must surrender the “Why?” to God. What greater gift can we give God, our creator, than to choose to surrender to His mystery? We flinch at the simplicity, but it’s true. Emotional healing boils down to our choice. Do we want to be well? How bad?
|When Jesus saw him… and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well” (John 5:6 NIV)?|
Yes, I want to be well. Bad enough to arrange my life around that desire.
God blesses that choice. When we choose to surrender, God drops us a ladder—a way out. Every time. Hard theology for some I know, but I’ve earned it and have a right to say so.
We must not focus on the pain but rather a Sovereign God who has a plan for our lives.
Is it possible? Dare we?
After ten years of Pharisaical religion and countless failed attempts to live out my skewed perspective of Christianity, I discovered God desired two things of me. First, I finally accepted that God wasn’t as concerned as I was about what I could do for Him, or even for others. He desired an intimate relationship with me. An authentic union. And that required setting aside my false beliefs that I could no longer trust anyone (yet another layer of emotional healing).
I’d proudly given God the best present I could offer: my brain. I’m pretty bright–God gifted me that way. A true nerd, perpetual student, voracious reader. Relentless in my search for knowledge, I steeped myself in theology and right practice. Looking back, I imagine God smiled, placed my offering aside and noted the valiant effort, but then probed deeper in search of the true gift: my heart.
“You care nothing for the surface, you want us–our true selves…give me an uncluttered and focused heart…(1 Chron 29:13 The MSG).”
This gentle soul-touch from God led me to the second revelation. God wanted me to bring Him glory; that was the ultimate purpose I was created for and all of my life experiences were supporting roles. God could use my life as an indication of how He wants to work in the lives of other women if (and that’s one big IF) I allowed Him to.
“They are my people,” God says. “I created them to bring me honor (Is 43:7 CEV).”
Again, I chose yes. That somehow, in the midst of this mess of my life, you would be honored, God!
How about you? Are you willing to stop asking “Why?” and start asking “What’s Next?” Where are you on the journey of surrender?
Jo Ann Fore is an author, teacher, book-freak, and fun friend. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of women. Most noted for her authentic vulnerability, Jo Ann captivates her audience with faith-filled messages caramelized with a powerful promise of hope. She is the founder of the Write Where It Hurts community, where she is honored to spend her days in the midst of women seeking hard after God’s plans for their lives.