The Online Community Of Christian Geek Central


    Where is my God now?

    Share

    mindspike
    Admin

    Posts : 552
    Activity : 697
    Geek-Cred : 38
    Join date : 2010-08-24
    Age : 42
    Location : Evansville, IN

    Where is my God now?

    Post  mindspike on October 4th 2013, 4:02 pm

    I am at this moment in emotional difficulty, through which my friends are supporting me and encouraging me to seek the company of believers. I debated posting this thread into the "Prayer Request" forum, and I do desire the prayers of other believer. Ultimately I posted here because I wish to ensure that I am thinking correctly, and I hope that others will assist me in this.
    =========================
    Where is my God now?

    It's a good question. My mother is dying. Aggressive cancer put her in the hospital in July. Treatment has been ineffective. They moved her to a nursing home for hospice watch earlier in the week, and just today they put her back in the hospital.

    She lives in Florida. I'm in Indiana. I don't see any way to be with her, short of packing up my entire family and camping on her doorstep. I am the eldest of her natural children; my three younger siblings are there right now. My younger brother is adamant that I join them, and angry with me for not being there right now. My father has suffered through this from the beginning, helpless to do anything about it. This sucks.

    Where is my God now?

    I'm just hard-hearted enough that the death of strangers is a tragedy, but not one that causes me existential crisis. Losing my family is personal, and it feels like a personal betrayal of my faith. My parents served the ministry faithfully for years. They have sacrificed their comfort and security to help others and to spread the gospel. My family has been the focus of no fewer than three medically documented cases of dramatic spontaneous healing - miracles. What right has God to cause my mother this kind of suffering? What kind of reward is this for a life of faith, prayer, and sacrifice? Have we not earned his consideration? Is God actually a figment, or worse some malicious bastard? If God is real, what gives me the right to question him or even think these things?

    Where is my God now?

    This sucks. No question about it. But I have a choice to make. I can choose to believe that God does not exist. If I do so, it means my life has had some extraordinary circumstances in it, but that my mother's suffering and eventual passing is neither malicious nor meaningful in any lasting sense beyond the immediate consequences. A century from now, all of this will be forgotten. The only good we may accomplish occurs during our lifetime to benefit those we love. Beyond the veil is only oblivion.

    I can choose to believe in any number of philosophies or religions. Most of them are variations on the themes of dharma, behavioral reward, or consequential physics. Most of them are experiential or existential in nature, applying only to oneself and one's own sphere of influence. They provide varying levels of comfort and condemnation. I have not yet found one that is internally consistent, objective, and rational, that also provides substantial hope and comfort. These are things I value: consistency, objectivity, rationality, hope, emotional comfort.

    I can choose to be a Christian. I have found the Bible to be internally consistent, even when subjected to my very specific and sometimes antagonistic examination. It remains true that religious authority does not seem able to consistently interpret scripture, but I have found that these failings lie at the expression rather than the source, the man rather than the scripture.

    The Bible is objective. It depicts historical events with accuracy, and then derives life lessons from those events. The Book of Revelation describes apocalyptic events, but the only instructions we are given simply reiterate previous commands.

    The Bible is rational and practical. It recognizes physical need and logical construction. The underlying philosophy and behavioral framework are predicated upon a single commandment, and the expression is rock-solid in its clarity, even when the conclusions are distasteful or disagreeable. We are given two commandments by which to live: love God; love others and yourself. All other instruction derives from this.

    The Bible is hopeful. The literary through-line of scripture is that mankind was created for a purpose - to love God. Mankind failed at that purpose - and God loved us in return anyway. Mankind recognized its inability to meet God on his own terms - and God came to us instead. This is powerful stuff.

    The Bible provides emotional comfort. Scripture recognizes the imperfection of creation without whitewashing it. Scripture promises us that in this life we will experience difficulty, suffering, and death. Scripture abates all of this with the promise that our physical existence is only the beginning of an eternal life where difficulty, suffering, and death are absent. That our life has a purpose in that it glorifies our creator. That our ability to enjoy the presence of God and the company of our loved ones forever does not hinge upon our own ability to do good, but upon the all-encompassing love of our creator.

    I and my family are suffering. Where is my God?

    If I am to be honest, I must recognize that he is right here with me. That he has ordained this suffering for a purpose that I do not yet recognize. That he takes no joy in seeing it, and desires to bring comfort. That he will love me in spite of my less than gracious and less than selfless conduct during this time. That God recognizes that the promise of comfort to come does not diminish the impact and immediacy of my experience.

    There are other factors to be explored in a systematic theology. There is the question of evil, the purpose of suffering, and the nature of election. All of that is addressed within the pages of scripture. Right now, all I can see is that I and my loved ones are hurting.

    Where is my God?

    He is waiting to comfort me.


    _________________
    -Winston Crutchfield
    "The rational mind is dangerous; the Christian mind is devastating."
    http://criticalpressmedia.com
    Opposing Forces powered by Fate!

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3491
    Activity : 5031
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Paeter on October 5th 2013, 1:55 am

    Winston, I am so sorry for the pain you are going through right now. I wish so much I had words of wisdom that could fix this mess for you. I've got nothing. I'm helpless and can only pray that God's grace will intervene to comfort you.

    I'm not equipped to answer your question, but would offer one possible thought that I hope is encouraging. God is present in the love of his people. In some way that I can't fathom, the expression of God's love is "made perfect" through his children.

    (1 John 4:11-12,ESV) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

    I hope that in the days ahead you will catch glimpses of Yahweh and his love for you through the believers you interact with, whether here or elsewhere. I'm praying that you will encounter many encouraging "messengers" of Christ that express love and comfort on his behalf, whether they realize it or not.


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Nathan James Norman
    Alliance Member

    Posts : 571
    Activity : 791
    Geek-Cred : 44
    Join date : 2010-07-06

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 13th 2013, 4:05 pm

    Winston, Thank you for being open. Your post is very Davidic. It feels like a modern psalm.

    Thank you for your honesty and taking me along your journey. I can't imagine all your difficulties... but my prayer is for the peace of God to be upon you through these trials.

    mindspike
    Admin

    Posts : 552
    Activity : 697
    Geek-Cred : 38
    Join date : 2010-08-24
    Age : 42
    Location : Evansville, IN

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  mindspike on October 13th 2013, 6:15 pm

    Thanks, guys.
    I'm able to spend a brief weekend with my parents at the moment.
    God will bring us all through this, one way or the other.


    _________________
    -Winston Crutchfield
    "The rational mind is dangerous; the Christian mind is devastating."
    http://criticalpressmedia.com
    Opposing Forces powered by Fate!

    mindspike
    Admin

    Posts : 552
    Activity : 697
    Geek-Cred : 38
    Join date : 2010-08-24
    Age : 42
    Location : Evansville, IN

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  mindspike on October 26th 2013, 7:29 pm

    Mom passed away two days ago.
    It hurts.


    _________________
    -Winston Crutchfield
    "The rational mind is dangerous; the Christian mind is devastating."
    http://criticalpressmedia.com
    Opposing Forces powered by Fate!

    tmorrill

    Posts : 335
    Activity : 405
    Geek-Cred : 20
    Join date : 2012-02-04
    Age : 29
    Location : Portland, OR

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  tmorrill on October 27th 2013, 1:18 am

    Winston, I can't believe I didn't post in this thread earlier, but I found your first post very compelling and touching, thank you for sharing it. I'm glad you were able to spend at least some time with your mother before she passed.

    I can't think of any words of sympathy that don't sound like hollow platitudes, but I'm remembering you and your family in my prayers.

    ComiKate

    Posts : 288
    Activity : 366
    Geek-Cred : 21
    Join date : 2012-07-01
    Location : Netherlands

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  ComiKate on October 27th 2013, 8:47 am

    I'm so very, very sorry Winston. I can't imagine the hurt and pain you must be going through right now except that it must be enormous and heart-breaking. The loss of a parent is so very tragic and hurts us so deeply - and it's always too soon.
    My heart goes out to you and your loved ones, I pray that God will provide His comfort.

    Nathan James Norman
    Alliance Member

    Posts : 571
    Activity : 791
    Geek-Cred : 44
    Join date : 2010-07-06

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 27th 2013, 8:49 pm

    Winston, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm praying for you and your family.

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3491
    Activity : 5031
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Paeter on October 28th 2013, 5:00 pm

    I'm continuing to pray for you and your family as well, Winston. Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can further support you somehow.


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    jorowi
    Admin

    Posts : 129
    Activity : 200
    Geek-Cred : 3
    Join date : 2013-02-26
    Age : 43
    Location : FEMA Region II

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  jorowi on November 7th 2013, 8:54 pm

    Just found this post, brother. My prayer is that the God of Peace will console you and your family. Your mourning will turn to dancing again and you'll get to see your mother again. I think you have my cell phone number. Give me a hollar if you need to talk and pray.


    _________________
    John Wilkerson
    Struggling for Purpose
    My YouTube Channel
    Twitter

    WhiteBoy
    Moderator

    Posts : 686
    Activity : 803
    Geek-Cred : 12
    Join date : 2010-06-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Arkansas

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  WhiteBoy on November 18th 2013, 1:25 am

    I somehow missed this post until now. I'm sorry for your loss and for your pain. I was blessed by your examination and by this post...thanks for the encouragement.


    _________________

    mindspike
    Admin

    Posts : 552
    Activity : 697
    Geek-Cred : 38
    Join date : 2010-08-24
    Age : 42
    Location : Evansville, IN

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  mindspike on November 18th 2013, 1:11 pm

    Thank you to everyone here for your support.
    Your prayers help me to keep things in perspective.
    There was a memorial service on Nov 8.
    We are looking for "a new normal" as my sister puts it.
    God is glorified in the death of His saints.


    _________________
    -Winston Crutchfield
    "The rational mind is dangerous; the Christian mind is devastating."
    http://criticalpressmedia.com
    Opposing Forces powered by Fate!

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3491
    Activity : 5031
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Paeter on November 19th 2013, 7:10 pm

    mindspike wrote:
    God is glorified in the death of His saints.
    We've seen that here as you've shared this time with us. Thank you, Winston. Please continue to let us know if/how we can continue praying for you at any time as you and your family continue through this gauntlet. We're here for you in whatever way we can be.


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Sponsored content

    Re: Where is my God now?

    Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:20 am


      Current date/time is December 7th 2016, 9:20 am