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When Stories Do Not End Well

We have all heard them. These stories filled with light, laughter, and the touch of God. These stories that end the way we want them to end.

The suffering has been endured, the tears have been wept, the pleading has been done, and the yearned for fulfillment has been given. God has marched in, and redeemed yet again. And we come to the end of the blog or the book, and we turn away with a happy sigh.

But really. What about the stories that do not end well. Does anyone ever bother to tell them? What about the boyfriend not snagged, the husband denied, the baby unconceived, the house not obtained, the better paying job not received?

Maybe it is just the day, or maybe it is the current mood, but frankly, I am tired of all this talk about how God is good, and God provides, and God fights for us, and God gives us the desires of our hearts. Because, if that is all we have to say about it, that means that those whose stories do not end with the dream must somehow just not have prayed hard enough or wet enough pillows with their tears, or been good enough, or deserving enough, or perfect enough, or just learned enough lessons. Is that the answer we want to settle for? Really??

Sometimes, you can do everything right. You can be submissive. You can say your prayers. You can give your life in service for others. You can have your ducks all in a row. Yet, the deepest desires of your heart are met by a silencing or absent God. Take your pick. He sure doesn't seem to be fighting for you, and meeting your needs, and giving you the best. Life just is not like this:

Inspire Fair Trade

Yet, we all ignore the glaring obvious, and continue with our stories of redemption, help, being saved at the last possible second. We pat ourselves on the back because our God is so awesome like that!

Please do not get me wrong. Those stories are real too, and must be told. But give me a moment of your time. I am begging you. Perhaps I am playing a bit at devil's advocate, and maybe I am the only one to notice this.

But I have experienced some losses, and I have some dear, dear friends with losses of their own, and I think it is time to stand up and wave the flag for the fallen ones.

Some of us do not get what we want, no matter how much we beg and cry and plead and live shining Godly lives of service and love and reputable deeds.

So, all this talk of God giving us what we desire is sort of screwed, I think.

And just because you get what you want does not necessarily guarantee that you are doing things right or have arrived at God's plateau. And just because maybe you have not seen God answer the way you would like does not mean you have not done things right either or do not live in God's favor.

I do not mean to sound whiny. I truly don't. I am just trying to speak for those who seldom have someone speaking for them. And I stand behind the fact that even the good and righteous people of the Bible had their moments. Jeremiah 12 being a case in point.

You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.” (NIV)

I have my suspicions that possibly instead of focusing so much on God giving us the desires of our hearts (what does that even mean, really?) maybe God is more interested in who we are becoming.

That no matter what happens, no matter what God does for us, no matter how He chooses to answer our pleas, that we will still firmly say with Moses that no matter what, we will firmly remain on the Lord's side.

And, even though right now, in the midst of the fight it seems like God has forsaken us, and given all the good things to others, even to those who live in obvious wickedness, one day soon He will make all things right. He will, He really will redeem and set all this messed up stuff straight. I have to believe that.

And so. I firmly plant my feet on the Lord's path. No matter what.


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