Choosing to Believe

source: pictoquotes via Flickr
source: pictoquotes via Flickr

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.
Job 42:3 (NIV)

Earlier in our walk through the book of Job I shared some of Wendy’s and my experience with infertility. Many of Job’s questions echoed our own questions during the darkest days of our striving to have a child together. The questions still arise from within us at times, but it happens less frequently the further we get in our journey.

The truth of the matter is that I still don’t understand. I have made peace with the fact that we will never understand on this side of eternity. Some things we will simply never know or comprehend. I can choose to let it eat away at my insides until my existence becomes enveloped in bitterness, madness, or both. That’s not a great way to live.

Wendy was the last of her close group of friends to get married. She was 33 when we wed nine years ago. She shared with me some of her struggles with singleness, and she finally found a place to rest in it. “If God is good,” she told me, “and I believe He is, if God has my best interests in mind, and I believe He does, then I have to trust that there is purpose and a plan for what I’m going through even if I don’t understand it.”

That same logic helped us through our struggles with infertility. I still find myself repeating it from time to time when the scabs on the soul wound begin to itch. As I read today’s epilogue from the story of Job, it seems to me that Job came to the same conclusion, though he used different words. Sometimes you have to choose to believe. That’s called faith. Not only is faith required to believe that God exists, but also to believe that God has a purpose and a plan for me despite my present circumstances.

4 thoughts on “Choosing to Believe”

  1. 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.

    Theres a piece of my human brain that says, “Who cares?” You can’t replace your kids, everything you’ve accomplished and then lost. Yet I know that the story is bigger than that. God provides. That’s it. In spite of the crap the world might deal us, God provides. He always is watching and caring for His flock. Job’s story is an amazing one and I learn something from it every time I read it. Wow.

  2. Great post Tom. When a writer shares something this personal, it means a lot to his readers. Since we are actually friends, I’ll share my own experience with infertility. We also tried for a long time without success for several reasons. As of this December we were finally able to adopt a child in our late 40’s..

    The questions about why these bad things happen are very real and can shake you to the core. The fact that there are many stories in the bible about women who could not conceive and God helps them makes those questions even harder.

    From a doctrinal standpoint, books can be filled explaining why bad things happen. Unless they help people I have little use for them. In my own situation, I found two ways to get through these tough times.

    1, Eternity means it’s always now in the mind of God, but humans are bound to the shackles of time. Just like a child thinks waiting an hour is eternity, so our own experiences feels like torture but that will disappear in eternity. C.S. Lewis said “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.”

    2. You can’t break mush. There’s an episode in King of the Hill where Bobby goes to military school and gets punished for being a screw up but still bounces back to his old self. Finally the commandant says to Hank-Bobby’s father,”I thought I could break him and make him a soldier, but I realized you can’t break mush.” Even though I’ve been to bible school, I know that I can’t figure everything out. I believe God is good, Satan is Evil, Jesus died for my sins and I’ll go to heaven by faith. Everything after those four things could be negotiable or I could receive some different light on it. I’m not gonna let hard doctrines break me-sometimes being mush is better than being broken by a life you can’t figure out.

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