Monday, March 23, 2015

The Death of Faith

A couple weeks ago I shared my Pastor's midweek Lenten service sermon, and made the comment that I wasn't quite certain what to think of his words. I had issues with what he said. And I left it at that. But now I feel the need to revisit the topic.

He'd asked what do we do when we can't feel God in the midst of suffering. And went on to explain the destructive ways we attempt to deal with suffering. And, I agree. I am one to find more comfort in a bottle, or in watching something senseless on TV. But then he spun into a circular line of thinking which I know many others agree with, but in which I cannot.

When we go through suffering, we need faith. If we don't have faith, we need to pray. We need to pray for God's will to be done, and we need to believe that it will happen. But to believe this, we need faith... (and round and round we go).

I have heard many people tell me that suffering has a purpose. God can turn it into something positive. It's all part of God's plan. Just have faith, and everything will be fine.

How does the abuse of a small child have a purpose? What good can come from the rape of a young girl? Or the death of a young man by his own hands? The death of a child from illness? The senseless shooting deaths of dozens?

As a young child, I had prayed constantly. And, in the early years, I had faith. I believed God would deliver me from my suffering. I believed that something good could follow. And He didn't. And it didn't. And faith died, replaced with the belief that I must not be worthy of God's love.

So the question that remains with me... what do we do when we don't feel God in the midst of suffering? How can we rely on a faith that has dissipated, or on prayer which doesn't work?

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