I was somewhat comforted by all of the scriptures that told me He is with me wherever I go ... as in Joshua 1:9 "Be strong, and of good courage, and don't panic or tremble anymore, for I am with you wherever you go."
That speaks directly to me ... I know all about panic, and shivering/trembling, when my brain misfires and sends ridiculous amounts of adrenaline coursing through my veins that causes me to either shrink in fear in an attempt to flee/hide, or become hyper-alert ready to pounce any direction at a moment's notice to fight for my Life ... it's real, folks.
And I was also somewhat comforted by all of the scriptures that assured me He will never leave me or forsake me ... as in Hebrews 13:15 where it literally, and specifically, says THAT verbatim.
I say "somewhat comforted" because I knew my Truth ... the same Truth that King David felt, and knew, firsthand ... "How long will you forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long will you hide your face from me? My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!?!? Why are you so far from helping me? And why are you deaf from the words of my roaring? O bring me out of my distresses ... Hear, O Lord, when I cry out to you ... please, please answer me! Where are you??"
And, not only was it my Truth, and King David's Truth, that God DID forsake us and was not always there for us ... as promised ... it was Jesus Christ's painful Truth, too, when He was struggling to breathe upon the stake and the clouds turned pitch black, and He saw, with His own eyes, God step away and turn His back to Him .... "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, O, my God, why have you forsaken me!?!?"
So I found myself faced with an obvious contradiction ... right there in the Bible, and right here in my own personal experiences ... the Word of God contradicted itself ... I have, on one hand, promises that He will never leave me or forsake me and, on the other hand, recorded accounts written and preserved in the Bible forever (coupled with my own experience) that proves/shows otherwise.
Talk about being "somewhat comforted" ... lol.
And, then, I recalled something my dad taught me when I was a young girl ... when he gave me this Bible for my 16th birthday ... He told me to study this Book, and to prove/test ALL things written in here ... he told me to question everything ... and, he really did mean EVERYTHING ... he told me I would find blatant "lies" in here ... and he also told me I would find what appears to be contradictions!
He taught me that when I am faced with what seems to be a contradiction, that I must guard myself from reacting carnally ... jumping to a quick, human-natured arrogant hot-tempered knee-jerk conclusion ... without taking a moment to gather more facts, stepping away to maturely assess the context and situation, before making any assumption or judgment on the issue.
So, that's what I did these past two days ... I stepped away and gave myself time to mull over this painful contradiction ... I tried to quieten my carnal human nature and tried to invite the Holy Spirit in to help me look at this paradox in a better Light.
I am the mother of three daughters ... ages 23, 19 and 9 ... I call them My Miracles ... maybe I will tell you why I call them that someday.
If you are a parent, I'm sure you will understand that each of your children require different approaches (or styles) of parenting/teaching ... depending upon their age in Life, their maturity, their personalities, their needs and their sensitivities ... it's something we as parents eventually figure out and learn as we go ... unfortunately, some parents don't ever figure it out.
But, I digress.
With My Youngest Miracle, I have more of a "micro-manager" style of parenting ... I still call most of the shots, and control what she will or won't do ... I still oversee her behavior and choices, and I discipline/guide her, and I protect her - ready to jump at a moment's notice if I see her head in a direction that will definitely harm her ... I'm the influence behind most of her plans, and map out the direction I'd like to see her go ... of course, this stage lessens everyday as she grows ... she's not a toddler anymore ... and I find myself transitioning into the "next style of parenting" with her ... which is where I've been with My Middle Miracle.
With My Middle Miracle, I've had an "Allowing" style of parenting the last five years or so ... I had to have faith I taught her the best I knew how, and I had to let go quite a bit, and allow her to decide for herself how she was going to behave and decide for herself what choices she was going to make for herself ... always being right there, if she REALLY needed me, but letting her do her own thing whether I personally agreed with it, or liked it, or not ... I "allowed" her to become who she wanted to be, and now, with her, I find myself transitioning into the "next style of parenting" which is where I am with My Oldest Miracle.
With My Oldest Miracle, my parenting style is "Hands-Off." She's 23 years old, and has traveled the world. She turned 21 in Dalian, China where she lived and worked for over a year. She's independent, and intelligent. She is completely on her own. She knows where I am, and I know where she is. I know she can handle herself and Life. I know she is prepared to face challenges and trials. I can not, and will not, live Life for her.
But, I digress AGAIN.
As I was saying, some parents don't ever figure it out. They either neglect, or provoke their children to wrath through constant criticism, or smother. I personally think a good, healthy blend of the three main parenting styles ... micro-management, allowing, and hands-off ... is best.
And if God is our Father, our Parent, and if He created us and if He created the family unit ... I think He probably has a better grasp of His Children and how to "parent" than we do.
All throughout the Bible you can read and study and witness His parenting styles ... and all throughout the Bible you can see examples and proofs of His parenting styles ... and if you are perceptive, you will see that He is a perfect blend of micro-managing, allowing, and hands-off.
We can PROVE, through His Word, that He has done all three parenting styles at different times, with different people, and through different circumstances ... just like none of our children are all the same, and just like the times change, and just like everyone's circumstances and situations vary .......... the same applies with God, and His children.
I think people who believe that God always micro-manages everything (God did this for me, God did that for me, God told me this, God told me that) are making a big mistake ... and when I see people, at the other extreme, thinking God is always "Hands-Off" well, I think they are making a big mistake, too.
I see God, our Father, at mostly the "allowing" stage ... He can micro-manage when necessary but, for the most part, He allows us to do what we want to do. Yes, He has His own plans for us ... but He doesn't micro-manage those plans.
Otherwise why do we have the scriptures that tell us even though we think we make our own plans/way, God has other plans for us ... "For I know the plans I have for you" ... "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD re-directs his steps" ... and He will make sure we arrive where we were supposed to be in spite of our detours.
What does all of this have to do with solving the contradiction/paradox of He will never leave us, nor forsake us, and yet at times feeling like you are literally being forsaken???
I can not, and will not, live the Lives for ANY of my children ... can/will you? ... would you really WANT to?
When your baby first learned to walk, did you prevent and protect him from every single bump and fall? When you taught your young child to ride a bike did you force him to keep his training wheels on? Did you go to school every day with your child to watch his every move? to make sure he didn't get his feelings hurt? to make sure he got all of his potty breaks? Did you do all of his homework for him, and take all of his tests for him? Did you go take his driver's test for him? Did you go on all of his dates with him? Go on job interviews with him? Answer all of the questions for him?
If you didn't do all of these things for him ... does that mean you don't love him?
Then, why would we think our Loving Father should jump in every single time we need something? And why would we feel like He doesn't Love us if He doesn't immediately jump when we holler? Why do we assume He is not there? Why do we feel He doesn't care? Or hear us? Or notice?
God delivered in the past ... God delivers now ... and God will deliver in the future.
But how quickly?
Sometimes very quickly. Sometimes not quickly at all.
But is it possible He might have a Good reason if He waits?
Sometimes God sits back and lets you take the test because He's been training you for it ... sometimes He lets you drive the car by yourself because He's prepared you to be a Good driver ... And sometimes our emotional upheaval is because we have been in training ... He has been helping us to grow, to mature ... He's helping us deal with adversity and Life ... and He is not going to be the over-protective, smothering Parent who makes all the decisions for us ... He's not going to be the Parent who always bails us out when we get in trouble ...
Sometimes when we are down, yes, God will comfort you and He will deliver you ... but it may not be as quickly as you like.
God will ALWAYS deliver ... but in different ways and at different times.
So the next time you are going through a real hard time, and you are feeling really low, and ignored, and useless ... and the next time you feel forsaken ... please, think of God's plan for you, and try to remember all of the Good things you KNOW He has already done for you.
If you do that, you will be like Jesus Christ .... and that is what we are supposed to do, right? Aren't we supposed to be more like Him, or try to be more like Him?
Jesus Christ went through the Darkest and Greatest and Hardest and Lowest and Scariest trial OF ALL, but His Father knew His Son could handle it ... God had faith His Son was prepared for it ... His Boy was ready ... His Son was going to succeed ... The Father knew it was time to let go, step back, and let His Son finish it on His own .. Dad knew what His Son needed, even if it was tough.
Jesus Christ went through the Darkest, Greatest, Hardest, Lowest and Scariest trial OF ALL ... and while He was going through it ... and after He screamed out "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" when His Father stepped back from Him .... he still chose to remember, and hold onto, this fact: My Father loves me, and He WILL deliver His promises.
So, my friends, think about this.
When God, your Father, steps back ... He knows what He is doing.
Don't lose faith, and fight the Good fight.