Enough for now

I found myself on the floor a lot this weekend. Just falling to the floor and lying on my carpet crying because it hurt so much. I had my trust betrayed by someone I loved dearly and I couldn’t and still cant wrap my head around it. It hurts. Like hell. I haven’t been able to eat or sleep or think of anything. I’ve been wanting to just get some rest so that I can forget about it for a second. I’ve been trying to think this thing out in my head. Trying to make sense of it all. But it keeps going round and round.

At first I was thinking bad thoughts. Really bad. Very un-christian, un-forgiving horrible things. One of my friends looked at me after me rambling on about some stuff and just said “You are really hurt.”

I kept talking to God, telling Him that it’s not right. That how can someone get away with this. How can they not have to pay for it? How come they can just try and talk the betrayal away? How can something like this happen? Why did it happen? I kept trying to convince God to punish this person and kept thinking really bad stuff about the whole thing. And the poison and the monster of hate just kept filling me to the brim. I questioned this person’s character, integrity, christianity and the friendship that we had had.

And sometime between yesterday and today I learned a few very rapid and very important lessons.

The first is, God rarely answers the question why. He does not explain suffering. He does not give answers to why we get hurt. But this is simply facts. Christians get hurt. Christians hurt other Christians. People make mistakes. Children of God get ill. Children of God suffer. Children of God cause suffering to others. Life is this way and we are not exempt from suffering or the repercussions of sin. Then Jesus showed up. He asked me to look at His hands. To see the scars. To look at the tears in His eyes and the lashes on His back. JEsus knows pain. God knows pain. Jesus knows betrayal. He knows suffering and hardship. He knows hate and ridicule. He knows how much it can hurt. And He will not necessarily take it away or protect us from it, but He leads us through it. He provides comfort. A place to lay our heads when we find ourselves crying on the bathroom floor. He places His hand on our heads and lets us cry and scream and cry some more. He holds us.

The second thing I realised is I have to forgive. Otherwise the poison would not stop spreading and I will never heal. At first the words “I forgive them” tasted like vomit from my mouth. I didn’t feel forgiving. I had no peace. I didn’t want to forgive, I only wanted to hate and punish and get revenge. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It’s easy to forgive when we weren’t emotionally invested. It’s the most difficult thing to forgive when we get really hurt and are really suffering. But I had to make this decision. I had to say it to myself a thousand times before I even started to believe it. I went through spouts of anger, but then decided to just say “God I am letting it go. God I forgive. God I am letting it go. God I forgive. Not because I can. Not because I want to. Not because I am capable of forgiveness. But because through you I can forgive. Help me to forgive” And I still have a billion emotions inside me. I am still hurting and still crying every few hours. But the poison is gone. It most probably will come again and I will fight again, with God by my side. I have to forgive because I was forgiven. I crucified God. I sin every day and I put Him up on that cross every day, and He still forgave me. He didn’t forgive me only when I apologised, or only when His pain stopped, or because I deserved it. He died for me. Nothing else matters. Not how I feel about this person or how painful it is or what I want. The point is God forgave me. I am the opposite of perfect. I am a horrible sinner. And He forgave me. And people aren’t perfect. I cannot crucify someone for their imperfections and their sins when I am exactly as sinful. It’s not like I never hurt anyone. It’s not like I’ve never sinned or make mistakes. Sometimes I feel like the worst sinner in the world. And God forgives me. Jesus, who has done nothing wrong. Who has never sinned in His life. Who has every reason to punish our sins and be self-righteous. That Jesus, takes my horrible horrible sins and pays for them. Who am I to hold a grudge? Who am I not to forgive?

Forgiveness does not make my pain less. It doesn’t make what this person did right. It does not even cause me to ever want to be friends with this person ever again. It just means giving it to God. For grace, for justice, for mercy, for sorting through the mess and for using it to His glory. It means letting the poison go inside me.  It means I am not God. It means confessing I do not know best and I am not capable of judging others. It means letting go. And as I’m writing this I feel flare-ups of anger and I know long periods of sadness and dissapointment and hurt are still waiting. But I will say the words again and again. I forgive. Because He forgave me.

The last lesson…God is good. I am eating the words of my previous blogs now, because I am in a rough time right now. But from the first second of finding out, I did not question His goodness. I do not question that God is still on His throne somehow making sense of all of this. I do not question that He is a loving father and wants the best from me and does not want hurt from me. I know that Christians do not always represent Christ. I know this because I often don’t represent Him. How can a judge a God by His imperfect servants? I can’t. I’m not perfect. Far from it. But God is graceful. And as I’m sitting here now I have no idea how this will be okay. But I have hope. I have trust. I see no evidence of any good that can come from this, but I still trust His name and His promises. I trust that somehow I will be stronger after this.

But I could not have felt this way if I did not do the hard work while things were going well. While I was okay and not hurting and life was good, I had to figure things out. I had to spend time with God. I had to think on all these things and came  to the conclusion that, just because things are going well, does not mean God is blessing your life. Many successful businessmen (to take one example) achieve their fame and riches by cheating and stealing. And just because bad things happen to you does not mean God disapproves. Look at the Bible. There is suffering everywhere.

But I know this. God is just. God is good. God is true. He does not indulge our comforts, but our hearts and our character. He is God, for goodness sake. We need to trust in His God-ness and His sovereignity. We need to trust Him no matter what the world looks like.

Being Christian sure as hell doesn’t mean life is easy. Life is damn hard and it will probably become more difficult when we get older. Tough times will come. It’s not a maybe or an if. Hard times are a given. We need to know this and make peace with this. And in the hard times we need to know that this is no an excuse to act badly. We need to cling even closer to our father in these times. When we see no outcome or reason for living.

As I sit here now I do not have energy for the future. A few hours ago I was lying on the floor telling God that I don’t know how to get up. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know which way is forward. My heart is not getting any lighter and the pain not any better. I still can’t eat. And it’s okay for now. I can stay on the floor. I can cry with God. I can wrap myself tightly in the arms of Jesus. The arms that hung on the cross for me and felt pain. Worse than I could ever know. Everyone He loves betrayed Him. We betray Him every single day of our lives. And He still died for us. I cannot stress this enough. A perfect God died for us, so we need to die to ourselves every day. Our own unforgiveness and our own pain and our own desires.

I know the pain will pass. I know the sun will shine, light will come out and hope will come. But for now I know this:

Life is hard. God is good. Heaven is real.

That’s enough for now.


3 Responses to “Enough for now”

  1. 1 Vabond April 5, 2010 om 4:20 nm

    Ek skip maar partykeer van die God-paragrawe, maar wil sê dankie, dis die eerste keer in n lang tyd dat ek n rou-eerlike-alles-voor-God Christen ervaar. Seker my eie skuld,want ek vermy deesdae sulke mense, maar dankie. Ek hoop jy ervaar God soos nog nooit tevore in hierdie tydperk

  2. 2 karliendupreez April 5, 2010 om 6:35 nm

    Hey:-) Dankie vir jou comment! Ek skip ook meeste van die tyd enige God-related blogs of whatever. Maar baie dankie. En ek doen, Hy is soos hier by my al is dit vrek seer soms. Elk geval kyk op my blogroll na Diaries of a doubtful believer en Hope in Love. Dis ook vir my cool blogs. Ek trek nog rond in die kaap maar gaan tien teen een naby die stad settle. Sterkte met jou besluite, kies net iets en doen dit, is altyd my motto. Te veel dink daaroor maak mens net deurmekaar. “A conclusion is simply the place where we got tired of thinking…” He he. Elk geval, sterkte en ek hoop dit werk als awesome uit!!

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