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When It Doesn't Feel Like God Cares

When It Doesn't Feel Like God Cares

I can pinpoint several times in my life where I felt like God didn't really care about me.

In high school, when the boy I liked didn't like me back and I wondered if I'd be single and alone forever. A little dramatic, I know, but that's what high school is for.

In college, when two of my friends were murdered and then a year later when another died in a freak accident and I wondered if the pain and grief would ever lift. (It does, but not completely).

This past year, or if I'm honest, past couple of years, have been filled with desires and dreams that haven't come to fruition. Years of prayers gone unanswered. Years of having my hopes lifted, only to have them dashed to the ground time and time again.

I have never been the prettiest or smartest, the wittiest, or shining star of the team. I am the behind-the-scenes worker, the right-hand man, just one in a multitude of faces who doesn't really matter compared to others more important. At least, this is the lie I have let myself believe. Where one lie takes hold, others follow telling me that God doesn't really care. My prayers don't really matter because God's plan is just going to keep marching forward, so why pray at all? Why does God place dreams in my heart if he is only going to snatch them away?

It's a lie that my main character, Elle, is wrestling with in the novel I'm writing. It's a lie that I think many of us wrestle with at some point or another, a lie that takes many different shapes and forms.

You've longed to go overseas, to proclaim the good news of the Gospel to the unreached, yet you can't raise enough support money.

You've prayed and dreamed about going to a certain college. You've worked hard and earned the GPA, and then you don't get accepted.

You've begged to know God more fully, and yet he seems more distant than ever.

You've dreamed of being a wife and mother from the time you were little, yet you remain alone, your womb barren-leaving you with nothing but empty arms and an aching heart.

You've pleaded with God to open the eyes of a friend, or relative, that they may know Him. Yet, their heart remains cold and bitter.

These are good things. So why doesn't God care?

I could give you a pat answer, a Christian answer. "Once you're content in the Lord, then you'll find a spouse." Or "Years of waiting make the result all the sweeter." Bull crap.

I don't know why God does the things he does. I wish I did, but I don't. Sometimes life is just plain hard, and God seems far away. One day it will all make sense, or maybe it won't.

All I know is that during these times when God is silent, when I doubt his goodness and love and wonder if He cares, I find comfort in the following verses. I cling to the truth of these words, repeating them over and over in my head until I can believe them in my heart.

"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you."
-Isaiah 43:1-2
 
" Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?...
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
    and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?

You are the God who works wonders;
    you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people"
-Psalm77:9-15a

So wherever you are today and whatever you're going through, I pray that these verses will minister to you as well, and that you will know just how deeply God cares for you.

I'd also highly recommend checking out this Playlist for the Hurting Soul from my friend, Lauren.

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