While talking to someone recently, she shared that she often struggles with why God lets bad things happen. She admitted that she gets very angry with Him when they do. You know, I have heard this very same sentiment from a lot of people and I’m always surprised. They blame God whenever anything goes wrong. Now I don’t claim to be better than them, or to be judging their perception, but I do struggle with that thought pattern.
Granted I’m a newer Christian and not a Bible scholar so I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but most everything I’ve been taught or read in the Bible are stories of people’s struggles. So I’m not sure why people don’t think struggles will come their way. The only thing that I do know about struggles is that He will be there with you through them. You can’t always see Him or feel Him, but in the end you realize that He was there with you all along and that through that struggle you’re a stronger person. Or you may have even grown closer to Him during that struggle and you’re thankful for that now.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like the challenges or struggles that come my way either. They are difficult, trying and seem almost never ending. But because of my struggles, I am more compassionate and a much stronger, determined and driven person than I would have ever been without them. I think although we all feel like we have had more struggles than others and that it’s not fair, the reality is that we have all been through our own fair share of struggles. They look different for each of us, but every struggle is equally difficult.
Those struggles are there to grow us, To teach us something about ourselves. Whenever bad things have happened in my life, my natural inclination has always been to ask God “how do you want me to use this?” It never once occurred to me to ask him why this was happening to me. Long story short, without all of the gory details – I was sexually abused by several different men at different times growing up. Each time was a horrible, horrible experience. It caused me to carry so much shame. It shattered my confidence and self-esteem. It took a big toll mentally and left me numb and in a state of stressed confusion for many, many years.
It’s funny though, I never once thought to ask Him why He let that happen to me. Each time I simply asked him how He wanted me to use the experience and what it was that He wanted to teach me through it. I eventually felt that he wanted me to understand people’s pain so that I could minister to them. At one point I thought I was supposed to be a counselor. I now minister to my clients who are in pain because of their disorganized, out of control lives. Pain is pain, no matter what the cause is, so through my own personal struggles I am better able to understand how they are feeling and what they need to get over that pain.