How many times in life have you found yourself feeling and thinking these thoughts:
God is holding out on me.
You have been cheated by God.
You always get jipped.
God is always hating on you.
Damn, not again. Why me?
I must be honest and share that some of these thoughts have crossed my mind when I find myself at my wit’s end and on the floor sobbing, barely being able to speak asking God “Why me?”
I don’t know if my parents ever felt this way but they sure did have their share of struggles. Harsh circumstances usually struck around the Christmas holidays in our home. One Christmas my father had his finger cut off (he was a butcher) while at work. He was given a couple of days off and then he received the news, he had been laid off. My dad is a strong man and he can handle a lot but whenever he didn’t have a job he was torn and downtrodden. If that isn’t enough, shortly after, he got in his old jalopy and it broke down. Talk about feeling like God is hating on you.
My dad wasn’t a complainer but he wore his pain on his wrinkled forehead and dark soft but stern eyes. You didn’t have to look closely to notice that he was a beaten man. In the midst of all of this not once did I hear my father “curse” God, not even when Christmas morning rolled around and he couldn’t even give his kids a small present. He wasn’t trying to be Mr. Tough Guy, he was just trying to focus on the blessings. He had his children, a lovely wife, a roof over his head, food on the table and God. Day in and day out our routine continued: family devotional time at dinner and praying as a family in the morning. I have yet to ask my dad what kept him going in these hard times but I am sure his answer would be something like this “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away and in all of it my job is to remain faithful because He is faithful.”
Even with this powerful example in my life I still have struggled with the thoughts if I leave it to God I may get jipped, cheated, or the short end of the stick……
I have found these 7 points helpful but I must let you know that even after doing all of these you may still have that “ugh” feeling in the pit of your stomach but you need to continually choose to walk the other way. Have you seen that movie based on the professor, John Nash? I believe it’s called Beautiful Mind. He is seeing people and believing things that are not true? It gets to the point that he is not able to function in life and he is a threat to his wife and child. He finally is able to overcome these thoughts with some help and training. At some point one of his colleagues asks him “Are they still there? Do you still see them?” He responds “Everyday but I have to choose to ignore them and remind myself they are not true.” Yes, my fellow sojourner, continue to focus on the Truth of who He is and tell yourself those other lies are simply not true.
1. Pray. Ask God to help you catch yourself in the midst of this pattern. Ask him to open the eyes of your heart to His blessings and what you should be thankful for.
I raise my eyes to the mountains from whom does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 121: 1,2
2. The cross. I know, I know what you are thinking. I used to hate when people would give me that pat answer “just focus on the cross or keep your eyes on the cross” but really there is truth in that cliché. He was human, he suffered, he felt pain and he knows what loneliness feel like.
“The most gut wrenching cry of loneliness in history came not from a prisoner or a widow or a patient.
It came from a hill, from a cross, from the Messiah. My God, My God! he screamed, why did you abandon me. (Mark 15:34)” Lucado
3. Stop. Stop dead in your tracks, and don’t go down the road of “woe to me.” We both know how awful it is to be stuck in this slippery hole that covers you in it’s slimy pity parties and woe to me misery. I know some of you are sitting at your table right now wondering how you are going to pay the bills this month, how hard it is to be alone and single with no one to share your life with, how are you going to make it through another day as you watch your baby fight cancer, how you are going to tell your spouse that once again you lost your job, how disappointed you are in yourself for not being able to say no once again, how you’re sick of being sick, how you can’t take another rejection, how your spouse ran out on you, how and when will this misery end…. Please don’t misunderstand this dear reader, I am not saying don’t grieve your loss and your pain. Please do, I am all about processing but you and me both know when we have crossed over and are walking down the road of pity me and misery. And if you don’t know just ask a friend who shoots straight with you.
3.Remember He listens. God listens.
“And I imagine Him, I imagine Him listening I picture his eyes misting and a pierced hand brushing away a tear. And although he may offer no answer, although he may solve no dilemma, although the question may freeze painfully in midair he who also was once alone, understands. Lucado
4. Jot it down. Get a pen and index cards and write down some verses to replace those feelings of being cheated. Don’t just try to stop the thoughts you need to replace them.
Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above… James 1:17
The Truth will set you free. John 8:32 Focus on the facts, not on the what ifs in life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
I am with you. Joshua 1:5 Don’t let fear rule you, He is with you.
From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. Isaiah 43:13
5. Recall. Think back to all of the big and small blessings He has given you in your life. If you can’t think of any, pray and ask him to help you see them. Call a friend or family member and ask them to remind you of some of those things. Rejoice in those blessings.
Stop now and write down 4 things you are thankful for, that are blessings in your life:
1. childhood years:
2. teen years:
3. young adult years:
6. Hope. Don’t lose hope. “The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace.” -Voskamp
7. Let go. It’s time my dear friend, to let go of that big fat suitcase you have been carrying around. That suitcase that you carry everywhere with you and I mean everywhere. You take it to work, to church, to your family gatherings, to the kitchen, the potty, to bed. Its loaded with the disappointments, hurts, pains, betrayals… that are keeping you from living your life. This isn’t easy and it takes more work than any of the other points above but it’s well worth it, it’s worth it in order to gain your freedom and life back.
Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? Isaiah 43:18,19
I hope you realize that your are not being cheated by God even though it may feel like that. If you are not in sin and you find yourself once again getting the short end of the stick hang in there dear reader. Blessings, as you focus on some of the points and scripture from above. He loves you and calls you His own. 1 John 3:1.