Friday, July 23, 2010

In short, He aced the test

Somebody once told me that hell is the absence of God. If that's the case, then I've been using the right word to describe the past several weeks of my life.
I don't mean to come off as melodramatic. I know there are people out there who have gone through much worse. But for awhile, it really sucked to be me, especially since my ol' cup of faith wasn't runneth-ing over.
It didn't help that I had people trying to convince me that those who believe in God are naive fools.
On second thought, maybe I should be thanking God for those people.
You see, I'm a stubborn girl, and I will hold onto what I believe is right until my heart tells me otherwise. That's what kept me from letting go of my faith in the first place.
That's what made me listen to that little voice in my heart that kept saying: "Faith is all you have left, Kat. If you let go of that, you'll have nothing."
That's what made me do what Christians aren't supposed to do when their anger toward God turns into anger at themselves for believing in God.
I tested Him.

I was pretty upset that night. I went to bed cursing at Him, saying, "Why aren't you listening to my cries for help? I'm beginning to believe all of those people who say you aren't there at all. I'm about ready to give up on you because this is too much, so you better do something to let me know you are still there."
I truly believe that when I picked up my Bible from the nightstand and opened it, it was a last-ditch attempt to salvage whatever faith remained inside me.
I truly believe it was divine intervention, the way my eyes immediately settled on this passage from John 6: "On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
I closed the book, shocked.
I went back to the the part about the disciples complaining about Jesus' hard teaching and thought about how it applied to me. I've always said the best place to learn is the school of life.
And yes, sometimes the lessons are hard.
Very hard.
I realized that those are the times when I need to hold fast to my faith.
Looking back, my "long road through hell" reminds me of something a pastor from my hometown once said to me, something so profound it eventually found its way into my first manuscript.
The Rev. Thaddeus Roberson once told me, "Anytime that struggle comes and adversity comes, the devil has made his biggest mistake because he’s knocked you down and thrown you to the feet of Jesus."
I think I'll stay here awhile. It's not such a bad place to be after all.


pearlygatesorbust said...

Yep! God has used the Bible like that for me several times. Love it! Love it! I would like to encourage you to keep reading it, Hon...EVERY day. It's not only a ready tool for God to use to help you, but it strengthens you for the next trial of life. And...the more you know God, the more you'll love Him, the closer to Him you'll become. You'll get to feel His presence and maybe even hear His voice and feel his touch. I have. Love it! Love it! :) The Bible says "Draw close to Me, and I will draw close to you." That's a promise.

I agree about the frustration of dealing with people who don't believe in God. Not only is it an affront to you, but it's an affront to God.(Sometimes "attack" is a more appropriate word.) It is frustrating not to be able to help them see the truth, 'cause you know where their beliefs are leading them, both now and in eternity. If they won't listen to our words, then we need to pray fervently and often for them. IF anybody can get through their hardened hearts, God can. Unfortunately, they can still say "no". Frustrating!!! Glad you're my cuz, Cuz! ;)

Kat Heckenbach said...

"Anytime that struggle comes and adversity comes, the devil has made his biggest mistake because he’s knocked you down and thrown you to the feet of Jesus."

That is an awesome quote. Love it.

Funny how we may not always pass God's test, but He always passes ours--no matter what, not matter how unfaithful we feel, He's there.

Thanks for sharing, Kat!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

You're not supposed to make me cry on Friday night.

You know what I also know, through the journey I've taken.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness overcomes it NOT.

Eric said...

Nice post Kat. And I'm glad you found your place to smile. I'm not the person to talk to when it comes to faith, but I admire those of you who have such a bond with it.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. Write on, Kat.

Thanks for your transparency. It helps anyone who reads this!!!

KM Wilsher said...

Kat, this is so helpful to me...yes, thank you for your transparency.
tears. . .chills. Gratefulness that He spoke to youso clearly and that you shared it with us!
All my love, sister Kat! :)