When I first started with AMPS, I angrily cried out to my Father, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” I could not understand why God would allow His child to suffer so much. I started thinking it was something I had done, continually asking Him for forgiveness, reasoning that it would heal me. It didn’t. For three and a half years, I continued to struggle with this notion of why my Father would allow bad things to happen to good people and good to happen to bad people.
Growing up in a pastor’s family, my parents ingrained in me a Christian worldview. I took it to the extreme, thinking if I was good enough, I would be rewarded. This made me both very prideful and judgmental as I went through my school years, always comparing myself to others to show how “good” I was.
At age 15, my way of thinking was thrown out the window. All the plans I had were tossed down the drain as the AMPS slowly spread its vicious tentacles into every inch of my life. I felt helpless, trying desperately to hold on to what remained of my shattered dreams, but they all faded to dust in my hands.
I clenched my fists and cursed at my Father, burying myself in a pit of despair as life passed me by. My bitterness only fueled the pain, building a cage that I would lock myself into from the inside. Sure, fellow believers would come up to me and say that they were praying for me and hoped that God would heal me. “Like they gave a crap,” I would tell myself, thinking that if they knew it was He who allowed this in my life, they would think very differently.
Finally, one Wednesday morning, I walked to our church sanctuary and poured it out to Him. I can only imagine what people would have thought if they had seen me that day. “Oh, Lord!” they would have exclaimed, “The preacher’s son is cursing in the sanctuary!” Yes, it was not a lovely picture to see when I look back on it now, but the thought never crossed my mind at the time because I was at a lose.
After a few moments of screaming, I fell to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably as pain surged all across my body. I cradled my head in my hands, apologizing to God repeatedly. It was at this moment, as I look back, that I could almost picture my Father, the Almighty Creator of this vast universe, reaching down with his hand, saying, “It’s okay. I can take it.”
The following weeks after, my Father began to reveal to me, through His Word, how He allows things to enter the lives of His children to mold them, so that they learn not to trust in themselves, but to trust in Him and allow Him to lead them on the path He has for them. He took me through the story of Job, who had virtually everything in his life taken away. Sure, Job could have easily cursed at God and walked away from Him, but he didn’t. Even when his friends came and asked what sin he had committed to bring down the wrath of God, Job maintained his faith in his Father, trusting that all of it was part of His plan. The same can be said for many others throughout Scripture, from Abraham to Joseph, David to Daniel. Even His Only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, trusted His Father, even to the point of shedding His Blood on a cross to save this sinful world.
It has taken me a long time to finally come to grips with this fact. I still may stumble often and waiver toward that pit of despair, but my Father, like the Good Shepard he is, will always come and lead me back to His path he has laid out for me. I pray that, wherever you are on your journey, that you do not fall into the same cycle of blaming yourself for what has happened to you. Know that this is not meant for evil, but for good. Our Father only needs a fraction of an inch to change your whole perspective of your journey.
Will you allow Him to do so for you today?