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I only wish I could have more Beth Moore moments.

I only wish I could have more "Beth Moore" moments.

Within the last three days, I have been bombarded with bad news from friends and family.  I have listened to friends tell me that they’ve lost their jobs, been diagnosed with an illness, had to schedule surgeries, homes are being foreclosed and depression is setting in.  Believe me when I say that I am no bystander.  Within the last six months, I’ve had my fair share of worries….a major health scare, two surgeries, radiation ablation, the death of my stepfather, and financial woes which accompany the present state of our economy.  So, don’t feel alone in your time of trial…I’m right there with ya.

However, I’m tired of “it.” “It” being bad stuff.  Illnesses, death, despair.  I’m just sick and tired of it.  I’ve got some serious anxiety lately…wondering where it will hit next.   Sometimes, I have nightmares that God is like some big bad mobster.  I’ve imagined him a lot  like Tony Soprano.  This “Mobster God” of my nightmares just keeps “putting hits out” on people.  My nightmares all end with someone (or me) in the back of a big black limo, headed for the Jersey turnpike…in a pair of cement stilettos.

But this is all no joking matter.  I find myself totally pissed off.  I mean really mad.  I keep asking God, “Who and what could be next?”  I don’t mind asking Him, “Can’t you just give us a break already?”  It’s not like we need any more crap piled up on top of what we’re handling.

Let me just say that I am “saved.”  Yes, I believe in God…and specifically, His Son Jesus Christ.  I wish I never questioned His grand plans.  I really would like to be as sure as Beth Moore, Kay Graham Lotz, or Nancy Leigh DeMoss of the whole Heavenly roadmap.  All of these Christian women just seem so sure about everything.  I don’t always feel like this.  I’d like to be one of those women that I’ve seen at church who, in her time of trial, just serenely quotes some Bible verse with a smile plastered across her face.  (You know who they are….the “Stepford Christian woman”…always ready with muffins in hand).  Anyway,  I’d love to have one of these “Beth Moore” moments.  However, I don’t see it happening.  It’s not in my DNA.

In fact, out of all the people in the Bible…I feel a kinship with St. Peter.  This is who I feel like I am most like.   Peter was totally imperfect, but he loved Jesus.   One particular story resonates with me.  It takes place in the garden of Gethsemane right before Jesus was tried and crucified.  The soldiers had come to take Jesus away.   When one of the soldiers made a move to capture Jesus, Peter took out his sword and chopped off the ear of the soldier that manhandled his friend, Jesus.   Everyone else just stood there.  Not Peter.  Peter took action.  Yes, Jesus admonished Peter for fighting….but, Peter wasn’t about to just do nothing while they took Jesus away.  I’m with Peter.  I don’t believe in just standing there and watching.   I believe in doing something.  Anything.

Lately, this includes arguing with God.

Why am I telling you all of this?

I told a clergy person that I wanted to know why I had to have a health scare.  I was told that God chastises his own.  Hmmmmm.  So, does that mean that I did something that required chastisement?  I took this to God and I told God that I haven’t “done anything.”  Lately, I’ve been living a pretty boring life.  Chastisement?  You’ve got to give me another reason.

Then just the other day, I shared with a group of Christian women that I have been “wrestling with God” over all of the things going on recently. (I was just “sharing.”  I wasn’t looking for someone to give me advice.) When one of the women told me just to “pray more,”  I looked at her like she had three heads.  “You’ve got to be kidding me?” I sarcastically responded.  “Pray more?!  What in the heck do you think I’ve been doing?” I said.

I meant it.  I have been praying.  Hard.  If arguing on behalf of myself and others isn’t praying…then I don’t know what I’ve been doing.  Someone very wise told me that the God of our universe can “handle it.”  God can handle my rage, my arguing, and my defiance over whatever reasons are given to me by well-meaning clergy and fellow Christians.  I don’t have to sing along to praise music and wave my hands in the air.  I don’t have to kneel on the edge of my bed with hands folded and speak sweetly to Him.  I think God is strong enough to handle what I’ve got to give Him.  I’ve got questions.  I’ve got some anger and I want Him to listen to me.  I’ve got a case to present on behalf of me and the people I love.  I can pace back and forth in my living room and shout out to God.  I can run on the treadmill and tell God what I really think.  Today I ran like someone was chasing me.  I had a lot to say…

He’s got to listen.  He’s got to give us a break.  At least, this is what I’ve been praying for.

By the way, it was nice to be reminded that my God isn’t walking around “zapping” us with bad crap.  He loves us.  I keep telling myself that.  Even Billy Graham said, “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.”

I keep telling myself:

Life is precious.

Life is a gift from God.

God is with me.

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