I prayed for my parents from the time I was old enough to understand what prayer was. Whenever the "D" word came up in their arguments, I'd go to my room, crawl under the covers and pray. God was supposed to be bigger than anything. If something could be done, He would be the One to do it.
Throughout my childhood, He provided small miracles, years where things were good between Mom and Dad. I thought my prayers were “working.” As I graduated from high school and left home, I knew they were in a down time, but I kept praying. God kept them together year after year and I trusted He would continue as long as I held up my end of the deal, coming before Him consistently and persistently.
But two days before my 29th birthday, in my 8th month of pregnancy with my second child, my biggest fear of childhood came true. My parents announced they were getting a divorce.
My pain came not only from my parents’ parting, but from my disappointment in God. Why did He stop hearing my prayers? Why now, after decades of earnest pleas, did He suddenly say no? Did He ever hear me? Could He be trusted with anything else? I was left in a funk for many months, being angry with God for what I perceived as His slap in my face, my prayers only questions, asking Him if I’d ever feel happy again.
Though I struggled, I couldn't shake the fact that He HAD done miracles in my life. He HAD proven Himself worthy in the past. It was this one thing, this one major thing He denied. Would I let the disappointment alienate me from Him? I had to ask myself which was worse, losing the family I'd always known or losing my faith?
I searched for the answers in the book of Job. Though he lived an upright life, Job was well acquainted with grief. God allowed Satan to torment him for no other reason than to prove he was a faithful servant. Is this the way God treats those He loves? Job had the same questions I did. What was God's answer to him?
Who are you?! Who are you to question Me? I am God. I created everything and will determine how everything will happen. What do you know, you human?
That's the Tami version of what He said, but you get the idea. Job encountered the living God and articulated the result well, "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."
His words pierced my heart. God is God. Would I believe it and live like I did, accepting the good AND the bad? Or would I succumb to the taunts of a crafty serpent who took cheap shots? Satan whispered, "See? God doesn't really care about you. Look what happened to your parents. It doesn't matter how good you are or how hard you pray. God does whatever He wants, even if it hurts you." It was easy to wallow in his suggestions. I had every right to be uspet, didn't I?
But where did dwelling get me? How could I ever move on or heal if I stewed about how God let me down? I had to choose whether I would believe the best about Him or walk away, an even scarier prospect. I chose to rest in Him and His unknown and noticed when I trudged forward without blaming anyone, when I quit demanding an explanation, when I chose to trust the goodness of God in my pain, the sneaky suggestions diminished.
“Nothing irritates Satan more than us choosing God over our pain and suffering. We can endure everything if we know Jesus is sitting next to us."
by Joni Erickson Tada
My parents splitting up was bad, but it would be worse to lose my family AND my faith. I had to choose to believe God knew what He was doing. If I continued to blame Him, Satan would win. And I'd be left with nothing. How could I let him steal my anchor?
What are you facing this day, my friend? What tragedy, what trauma makes you doubt God? What lies does Satan whisper to you? Will you let him steal your faith too? When you choose God, though you may not understand and your heart hurts, you defeat the enemy, clearing the way for God's light to shine in your darkness, leading to a life of hope. Don't fall prey. Believe in the goodness of God and send Satan packing.
Don't let the devil steal your anchor.
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