I can’t pinpoint the exact day but I believe it was around my 2nd year in college when I fell completely, totally and madly in love. Our relationship has been quite tumultuous. There have been good years. There have been bad years. I’m quite sure I even fell out of love at one point. Today, however, I can confidently say I am more in love than I’ve ever been.
I call my blog ‘Loving God Ain’t Easy’ because it’s true. It is not always easy to love someone who allows such horrible things to happen to you and others. There are many things I do not understand about God’s love but I do know that he loves me. In a weird way, that echoes the rationalizations of an abused woman. The difference is while an abuser feeds off the power of his abuse, God’s love does not gain anything from our afflictions. He does not take pleasure in it.
“For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:33 NIV
I discovered the book of Lamentations during my senior year of high school. During that time, I was very angry with God. I had lost the woman I knew to be my mother and was now taking care of her shell along with my Grandfather. I slept with one eye open and constantly listened for staggered breathing or the cries of paranoia. I was questioning everything I knew to be true about God. Then one night I opened my Bible and found chapter 3 of this mournful book. The first verse that caught my eye was verse 27.
“It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” Lamentations 3:27 KJV
I screamed at God within myself. How can that be good??!!! Did this mean I would not face so much when I got older? As I backed up within the chapter and began to read it in its entirety, I noticed one word repeated…hope. There was hope lost, hope found and hope gained. The chapter was a reality, my reality, of an honest and sincere relationship with God. It was the first time I understood that it was OK to be angry with Him. Yes, it was good that I bear this yoke because I was discovering what it meant to love God. I discovered the truth seldom discussed about relationship with Him.
Sometimes God will piss you off. I cannot dress that emotion in poetic or more church-y terms. I get pissed at him. However, my anger and frustration is founded in my love for him. I am angry at circumstances and frustrated with the inability to see his love through those circumstances. It does not change the truth that God’s love is present. He is not getting his kicks out of seeing us go through bad times. He is ensuring that we do not succumb to them. I remind myself of this truth constantly.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” Lamentations 3:21 KJV