Oh God, Why?

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“Why have you made me your target?…Why do you hide your face?…Why should I struggle in vain?…Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?…Why then did you bring me out of the womb?”

Job 7:20, 13:24, 9:29, 24:1, 10:18

Didn’t Job get “hammered?” His monumental suffering is unparalleled in history. He is essentially a godly man who loses everything (except his faith). Job must pick up the pieces after “catastrophic ” sudden pain and total loss.

Job is being tested with the ultimate horrors. Will he “curse God and die” as his wife suggests? Will he cave in to the final four (his friends) and agree to their twisted theology? (You have to read chapters 38-39 to find out).

The Book of Job has been regarded as inaccessible and archaic by many. Unfortunately many believe this assessment and look elsewhere for comfort. I would agree that Job is a challenging book, but so is Macbeth or Plato. (I guess you should find an easier translation).

Job is less an explanation and more a revelation of suffering. “Why” questions go unanswered. “Who” questions matter. I suppose this seems unfair. It certainly seems so, but straight answers in a fallen world won’t get any mileage at all.

One more thing. The Book of Job is about “twisted” theology. Job’s friends “toe-the-party-line” of theology that is logical. But don’t be mislead by their pronouncements, for they seem reasonable but they are flawed. It is a doctrine without love.

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

1 Cor. 13:2

You can’t split theology from love and get away with it. When you read “Job’s friends” you must remember that. These are lessons it takes a long time to learn.

The broken believer, hobbled by chronic illness, has much to learn from Job. He is like “the poster child” for those afflicted. My mental illness is an issue (of course) but God is fully in control. He brings beauty out of the ashes.

“To bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah 61:3, NIV

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When You’re Out of Control (A Reblog from 2013)

Originally written August 29, 2013 and shared today hoping it will bless someone.


 

“I’m must show myself; things are not going well, to be honest.  I’m becoming more and more fragmented.  And I can’t seem to hold it together.  Essentially, I mentally can’t keep it centered on the things I know are right and appropriate. My mind is in a muddle, and my heart is not far behind.

I can’t go on like this.  I have to confess that I’m spinning out of control.  There are too many issues that hammer me, without any resolution or finality.  I need a “booster shot” of grace. (Perhaps, maybe an I.V. would be better.)

All I want is to escape, and to shake off these ‘parasites’ that sap me of any strength I might generate.  Far too many things are draining me of any vitality and hope.  Despair and despondency have suddenly shown up at my door, but I treat them as unwelcomed visitors, and hope they will leave me alone.  All they want to do is take me apart, and dismantle me, and I seldom advance beyond this. I haven’t invited them.

This simple blog has kept me going.  The posts that I write are sincere, and I know for a fact they touch many hearts.  I’m astonishingly grateful for this.  But they can’t minimize my own issues.  I am constantly on the edge, a step one way or another could push into a desperate fall. (Funny, I’m starting to scare myself.)

I have a deep confidence in Jesus.  I believe that he loves me in the most intense way possible.  I trust in his deliberate and careful love.  Resting in his arms is the very best thing I could do.  He is the only one who can lead me through my mental illness.  Or to give me the grace to move above it.

I do not want to offend or alienate anyone.  That simply is not what I am about.  But I simply can not try to take Brokenbelievers much further in this ‘frame of mind.’  I will try to post as often as I can– but both my therapist and psychiatrist want me to go into a hospital.  I have already been there several times and I do not want to be admitted any time soon.

The next several days should be interesting.  I’m definitely committed to avoiding hospitalization.  The “professionals” I trust are trying to commit me, but I do intend to make a scrap of it.  “I will not go lightly.”

Please try to be patient with me.  I want to post, it runs through my veins.  But I simply don’ t  have the resources that extend into transparency and clarity.  Please forgive me. There’s is no way I can make this work without avoiding a “shutdown.” We will see.

***

kyrie elesion, Bryan

(Lord, have mercy on us.)

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Suffering That Baffles Us

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”Sometimes it takes a long, long time before we can glean enrichment from the deprivation and suffering which has baffled and overwhelmed us.”

Mildred Tengbaum

Seldom do puzzles solve themselves. Jigsaw puzzles especially. We sit at the table turning the pieces over, separating the “edges” to start. It’s slow going; we look at the picture on the box, looking at what we’re trying to put together. Nothing really helps, and it is slow going, even for someone who is experienced in puzzle solving.

It can take a long time to put it together. You’ll probably require the “patience of Job” in order to manage it. The puzzle makers design them to challenge, not to solve. There is kind of a “grinding out” involved. Pieces that look like they may fit, but don’t.

In life we go through trials. We’re challenged– sometimes beyond our limits. Testing can be extreme sometimes and we don’t know how we’re going to survive. It seems “the odds are against us.” In the book of Psalms there are many encouraging promises, here are just a few:

“I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
    who surround me on every side.”
Psalm 3:6, NLT
“Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.”
Psalm 27:3
“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
    What can mere people do to me?”
Psalm 118:6

The Psalms aren’t for those who have it all together. (They don’t need them). Rather, these psalms are for the burned-out, the afflicted, the scared and desperate. We “own” these.

Life in general, is impossible without God. Our issues are leading us back to Him, and so they serve His purpose. I thank God for my mental illness. Depression leads me to seek Him with a whole heart. What was meant to destroy me, works out to my good.

Oh, I slapped the following together:

Tips for the puzzles of life.

  1. Separate the pieces into groups.
  2. “Edge” pieces go first.
  3. Consult the picture on the box repeatedly.
  4. Take a break when the pieces all look a like.
  5. Get help. A fresh set of eyes can be a blessing.

I hope Brokenbelievers.com is a blessing to you. “We aim to please.”

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