For a long time I thought that I deserved a happy life. In some respects mine could be considered okay, but in too many others it was more trying than I wanted to learn how to handle. So I looked around at people who were comfortably well-off in departments of ease and comfort and harmony and sent God another withering reproof: “I should have more than this, you know!”

I searched in vain to discover what was so horrible about me that God should not have compassion on me and deliver me from burdens I seemed born to carry. I wanted to find that one thing that He expected me to fix before He would love me according to my needs. Instead, I became more in tune to all my shortcomings and determined that I had no hope of God ever feeling close or comforting. If I wanted anything from Him, work would be the only course that I had hope of exploiting.

Needless to say I went from questioning God to being bitter against Him. I no longer needed to hear His answers — they would only hurt me more. Besides, I had been in this tattered web of a life for long enough to know that most likely God did not intend to just break the whole thing down and start again.

Back then I didn’t know God in a positive way, in a trusting way — a way that I could be certain of everything He said in His Word was true for me too. If I had, I could have been certain that God only allowed my pain because He could be sovereign even over the sins of others in my life.

Even as He began to show me this, I didn’t care; I wanted God to look loving without pain. I wanted Him to become dear because He had somehow changed from the defeating deity that I saw when the words on sacred pages drew pictures of His ways. I didn’t want to believe that there had never been anything wrong with God; that I was the reason there existed a rift between us. I wanted to hear, “Elaine, I know I messed up; I’ll fix it.” Instead I got, “Elaine, I cannot make mistakes; I will make you understand what I am doing and then you will love me — I am taking the blinders off now, just let go.”

With no where else to go, I wrestled with God over everything He said and did to me — but He has never stopped pressing me to move beyond what I know to what He knows, and this is how I know that He is the only reason that I can see Him as I do now.

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