WWE Raw Presents: Wrestling with God
“But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary; they will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 (CSB)
I love that we have a loving God. He holds us, strengthens us, gives us undeserving grace, and champions us to be a people he has called us to.
However, something I have battled with in the past is feeling this all-encompassing love when life takes a quick, unexpected turn. Many of you are familiar with the song “It is Well” by Bethel Music. It is a beautiful, moving piece that recognizes what brokenness can do to the soul and how we can put our trust in Christ to pull us out of that brokenness.
But let me ask you this.
How easy is it for you to stand and declare, “It is well with my soul,” when life is going great? Vs. forcing yourself to sing the lyrics, through tears, when you lost your job, had a death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, struggling through college, financial issues at home, finding your worth… the list goes on.
Earlier this year I went through a difficult breakup that I had not seen coming. My world was turned upside down, I could feel the pain of the loss in my bones, and I all I could think in my head was, “Why God?”
I felt anger, confusion, and sadness because I truly thought I was going to build a life with this individual.
In the beginning, I told myself, “Syd, you are going to refuse to let this loss dictate your life. Yes, this will be incredibly challenging and difficult to work through, however, you WILL become stronger. You WILL become the resilient woman God has designed you to be. You will have your down days, but you WILL have a beautiful future to come. You are loved by many and the Creator of the world. You WILL love deeply again.”
When I told myself this I thought I would be sustained from there on out. Until, as I suspected they would, the hard days came.
My first weeks were filled with grievances; the next to come were filled with numbness.
I knew my God was with me from the get-go, but I kept asking, “Why?” What followed was me trying to hide my “why” questions, frustration, and anger because I thought if I say I love God and I trust in him, why must I ask, “Why?” and feel angry?
I could only suppress these feelings for so long.
Then, they spilled out. The wrestling match began.
“God, I do NOT understand. WHY did you lead me to believe that we would be together? WHY did you let me come to this far just for everything to fall apart? WHY am I not good enough? I am going out tonight, having a good time in whatever capacity that may be, and you CANNOT stop me.”
I felt selfish and greedy for demanding answers from the King of the universe and telling him what I am going to do, especially after all the blessings he has poured out on me in the past, but I didn’t care.
That was until I remembered…
My God doesn’t want me to walk around un-phased and numb to my circumstances. He wants me to leave my hurt and brokenness as his feet. He wants me to ask the tough questions that I do not have answers to.
Because he is my best friend. He wants to be in a relationship with me and navigate the deepest, darkest of waters.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
My anger of “Why?” turned into… “God, I do not understand, but I want to trust you. Show me what that looks like. Give me the willingness to let go.”
I could not declare, “It is well with my soul,” but I could admit that I needed my Savior to pull me out and show me his way. I needed him to show me that I can rest on his shoulders.
Sometimes I think we are afraid to admit to God when we are angry or do not understand because that is not the “Christian” thing to do. The thing is, God didn’t design us to aimlessly follow and love him. He designed us with a free will to choose him and to wrestle with him so that our relationship, faith, and trust may grow deeper.
I allowed myself to duke it out with God. And while I came in kicking and screaming in the ring, he was holding me tightly, lovingly, and pouring out his grace because he knew I cannot do this alone.
The result? Day by day he showed me how to put my trust in him.
“God, my negative feelings are rushing in again. Please, take them away.”
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2 NIV)
“God, I am in pain. I do not know what to do with it. Have it all.”
"Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 29-30 CSB)
These pleas for help slowly turned into, “Thank you for the opportunity to trust in you.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
During this season of my life, my mother told me, “The only way to get over it is to go through it.”
Sometimes going through it means letting your knees hit the ground in tears. Sometimes it means turning over our numbing mechanisms to let Christ heal us instead of alcohol, shopping, gambling, eating, drugs, promiscuity, bitterness, unhealthy relationships and so forth. Sometimes it means wiping the fake “Christian smile” off your face and allowing yourself to mourn and be angry.
I grieved, and I grieved HARD. In return, I received a peace and trust I never thought would (or could) ever come.
And now, I am humbly sharing my story of redemption with you, in hopes that whatever season of life you are enduring, you too can rest knowing the God of the universe pursing YOU wants the hard stuff brought to him.
"But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary; they will walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31 CSB)
For Your Reflection…
What tough questions are you afraid to ask God? Try bringing them to him. I am confident he will gladly accept.
A question that changed the trajectory of my healing process is, “Have you surrendered your pain to Christ and asked him to use it for your good and his glory?”
(From "The Bumps are What You Climb On" by Warren W. Wiersbe)
The surrender part wasn’t easy… but I invite you to ask God to show you how.