Today’s post is a little later than usual. It’s been a long week so, I took a nap around 2pm and got up at 8. I would have turned around and gone back to sleep, but in my head I heard, “you have to do BEDA” so, I dragged myself out of bed to write this. BEDA motivate!
I read this book a while ago, Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey, it’s very thought provoking and it leads to questions like, “Where is God when bad things happen?”
I read this book about 4 years after I moved to the United States, and now, 9 years later, something connected in my head. That something was about the night we moved here and how I could have been disappointed, or taken it as a bad “omen”, and why I didn’t.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that God doesn’t leave us unprepared. Before we left Guyana we were cleaning out the bookcases and I found this old book, Will the Real Phony Please Stand Up? by Ethel Barrett, I don’t remember what grabbed my attention, maybe it was the name, but I decided to read that book on our flight.
The book touched on the life of Job and one of the things that stood out for me was Job, crying out to God, wanting to know why he had fallen so low. His children were dead, he was poor, his friends had forsaken him, his wife told him to curse God and die and his health was affected. Job didn’t have a clue as to why these things happened, yet he still trusted and believed in God. When God replied to Job, he didn’t tell him why he did what he did, he didn’t clue Job in, saying, “Well done, Job!” and though Job was healed and restored, he was never aware of why the bad thing happened in the first place.
I say that God doesn’t leave us unprepared because, that night, we lost the majority of our money and all of our records, the only exception being our passports. It happened at the airport, when we were meeting our family, when we were celebrating our reunion. We were robbed, it was quick, and they took the most important things. My siblings won’t remember, they were very young, 5 and 7 year olds, but I remember. I remember this event with a clarity that I rarely experience when remembering the past. I remember my emotions and I remember that, upon realizing what happened, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “remember Job”.
I could have felt a negative reaction to the entire thing, “How could you God? Where are you? Are you even listening to me?” or, I could have gone the path that comes easier to me, the apathetic path, “Well, obviously God doesn’t take care about his people, so who cares about him?”. However, I found myself taking a different and unexpected path, “Since I am not privy to your ways, God, I’m going to let this play out and trust that you have it all under control. That you will take care of your people.”
I cannot tell you how I would have reacted if I hadn’t read that book, I feel like it prepared me to face that experience and many more after that. The fact is, bad things happen all the time, to all kinds of people; we live in a fallen world and just because I’m a follower of Christ doesn’t give me a pass to a trouble-free life. The thing that determines my faith is how I react when bad things happen. After that experience, whenever the question comes to mind, “Where are you God? Are you there God?” I always hear him say, “I’m right here. Trust me.”