“I hate you, God! ” I thought to myself. “I want nothing to do with you. You might be real, but you are not the good Creator people portray you to be. ” I did not always feel this way toward my Heavenly Father. In the first three years after my baptism, my walk with God was tranquil, blissful, easy even, and overflowing with confidence in His Word. I indulged my eyes with Scripture every chance available. Church events became the highlight of my week. The feeling of calm I experienced during sermons and the warmth in my vocal chords when singing in worship were highly treasured.
Questions concerning every subject constantly escaped my lips and left my ears longing for answers. To know every aspect of God, look to Him in all areas of my life, and see God in a different and more beautiful way at every turn was my sole desire. Thinking of God as anything but my Savior and Rock remained a mystery to me. A life apart from God was inconceivable. Unfortunately, this honeymoon phase in my relationship with God came to an abrupt close. Coming into my freshman year, my feet were jaded. My life experienced a period of decadence.
I should have clung to God’s Word, but instead I released my grip. The ways of the world became increasingly appealing to me, and the Devil took notice. Questions that were difficult to answer invaded my mind. My questions grew into doubts. In the beginning, those doubts were negligible. It was my own fault when they sprouted like weeds. “How could God be good if he lets all these dreadful things occur in the world around me? ” I asked myself. “Is he really all that good? Is it really moral for there to exist an all-powerful being that demands its creation to worship it?
Why will God not answer my questions? Is God even out there? Why can I not hear or see God respond to my prayers? Why will God not give me proof of his existence? ” I remember my younger self loving snow globes. I turned them upside down and was mesmerized by the countless snowflakes swirling around inside their glass. In a way, that happened to me. One day a key inside me turned and a lock clicked shut. I glanced up, to my left and right, and saw the Christian bubble I had lived inside my entire life.
I stretched my arms to feel the realness of its edges. To my despair, it shattered at the touch of my fingertips. I heard Satan’s cackles even as I stood frozen and watched the fragments of circular reasoning, blind faith, and years of false beliefs fall to the ground. I gulped for air in this new, lurid world. I grasped for anything to pull me back into the security I so recently lost, but I merely accomplished some cuts from the broken glass. Chaos surrounded me. High and low, I searched for answers only to be knocked back by an invisible barrier.
Attempts at singing praise no longer brought warmth to my throat but scratched it and left a stringent taste in my mouth. The calm I felt during sermons hardened into animosity. Hackneyed and seemingly useless, my Bible lay forgotten on the bookshelf. I cried out to anyone that would listen, but the heavens were deaf to my voice. Nothing assuaged my pain. God could not be real; if He existed I wanted nothing to do with him. What sort of god would leave me in the wilderness? This benevolent god, in whom I used to have so much hope, contorted into a selfish dictator.
I was lost, I was an outsider, and I could not find a light in the dark regardless of the roads I travelled. I lived under this umbrage for what felt like a millennium. In reality, only a year passed before a sliver of light pierced through the pitch. It was my sophomore year, and I auditioned for the play Our Town. Our Town is a play I will never forget. I do not know how, and I do not know why, but somehow God used this play to reveal Himself once more to me. He gave to me a cast that treated me as family and a plot that told of greater moments than this life.
Our Town depicted what most consider to be unimportant, everyday activities and revealed their intrinsic value with each line and stage direction. In rehearsal we discussed multiple times the significance of this play and how it applies to our lives. By the time performances rounded the corner, my heart was near to bursting. A feeling of belonging and the need to appreciate every moment overwhelmed me. Most importantly, I felt a tug at the back of my mind, a quote from the Stage Manager, “We all know something is eternal. ” That something, I realized, is God.
The cloud above me thundered, and then it snowed. God is eternal. Omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent is He. He is bigger than we. Humans are so small and insignificant in the grand scheme. God does not “let bad things happen to good people. ” We live in a sinful world in which bad times occur. God does not say no if we do not need it. Anytime He refuses our wishes it is merciful and for the betterment of our lives – whether or not we see it at that time. We do not always understand His ways, and that is okay. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Our prayers are heard and answered by Him. We may not always see Him working directly, but that does not mean He is not working in us through other people. We do not have to test God in today’s world as Gideon did in the Old Testament. We now have the Holy Spirit inside us confirming his existence. God places people in our lives to point to Him. He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is our strong tower, and we need to run to Him in our times of need. With each affirmation of God, the sky above lightened. I spun in circles, letting the cold and reassuring snowflakes coat my eyelashes.
Flinging my arms out, my fingers found something solid and soft. I opened my eyes. Once again I looked to my left and to my right. Crystal decorated with words of Scripture was slowly rising beside me, and a street was paving itself before me. I could not believe my sight. I placed both hands against the glass’s inner side. It was pliable and callow – not quite finished in its restoration – but it was back! Overjoyed and spilling out with excitement, I dove into God’s Word. I was determined to reconcile my relationship with Christ and renew my growth in Him.