I just finished reading a book a dear friend sent me called "Tracks of a Fellow Struggler" by John Claypool. Although Claypool's circumstances differ from mine (he lost his young daughter to leukemia) this book accurately reflects my own experience with grief and faith. He so parallels and mirrors my own thoughts, that several times I said to myself, "This is my book." If you care to get inside my head (that may be a bit too scary for some of you), this is the book to read.
Until about 9 years ago I really struggled with trusting and believing God...and, of course, I am not "done" yet, but I have traveled a good piece down that road (of trusting and believing)--and thankfully had prior to the events of 6 1/2 months ago. As I have already mentioned, one reason I questioned His goodness and ability and desire to care for me (and others) was because of all the brokenness in the world that we cannot begin to explain away. This was a very big burden to me as I know it is also for many of you. I keep coming back to this because it has been so pivotal in my relationship with Him. I have been able to see how He has worked in my life (although I certainly questioned that following the tragic events of August 2), but I need help seeing it in other's lives when all I can see is the sadness or violence of the situation. I am not sure when it happened, but I know that He began to make it clear that when I see something from the outside trying to look in, that I cannot know how He is working in that situation...I am looking at a small snapshot not the panoramic view. At the same time He began to allow me to hear from others how He worked to bring about healing in their lives even when they suffered greatly in horrible circumstances. It is their sharing that encourages me as it fills in the details (for the panoramic view). I don't mean to imply that all my questions have been answered, but I am able to trust in spite of the questions because I have begun to understand that their is so much beyond what I think I know. I also don't want to imply that I can "defend God" or that He even needs me too, but I hope to encourage those of you who face a similar dilemma to ask Him to reveal Himself in whatever ways you need so that you can draw closer to Him as the source of all goodness and be comforted and strengthened on this life journey.
I don't know if the book Precious is based on is a "true" story, but we all know its truth if we open our eyes just a little bit...and some of you reading this even know it first-hand. I listened to an interview with the beautiful woman who plays the lead character, and I recall she said something about it being a dark story that is ultimately filled with light and hope. It sounds like a movie I would like to see just for those reasons. This is NOT a movie I will see for its entertainment value--as I know the dark parts will be very hard to stomach--but I am hoping it fits with the theme "joy cometh." I will let you know how it goes after I see it.