Going Through the Fire
“The one thing you can do is be real with Him…let Him walk with you through that."
Ben lost both of his parents at a very young age. But the loss of his mother left him devastated. As a very young Christian with nothing to hold onto, he questioned everything he knew and heard about God. How could a loving God let this all happen to him?
“But it was my mom’s death that affected me the most. I loved my mom so much.”
Ben responded with hatred after losing his mother. Hatred towards God for allowing his parents to be taken from him. Hatred for allowing him and his siblings to become orphans. After losing his father six years earlier, it was now his mother who was taken from him. Ben and his siblings were now orphans, and he was about to be separated from them, the only family he had left.
“I felt hate, absolute hate for God…He was supposed to be somebody that really loved me.”
In his hatred, his questions piled up. All he could do was ask. Why? How?
“How could you let my mom die? How could you let us be orphans?”
Ben was in a situation where everything he had was taken from him. This is a situation where most people ask how a loving God can let this happen? Ben did nothing to deserve losing one family member, let alone all of them. Why would God allow it then?
As we try to understand an omniscient God and His ways in these times, there is no more likely of a response than frustration, as we are unable to make sense of what is happening and what God is doing in the midst of the fire.
But in all, God is there. He does not miss a detail. He is never surprised or scrambling for a way to fix what seems to be shattered into countless pieces. He always has a plan and is working it out for good. He loves us period. We must trust Him in every situation, and this includes the ones we cannot understand. We must remember that in the times of praying and longing for prayers to be answered, God does not forget those prayers. He remembers each and every one just the same.
“Right there is when I knew that God did care for my mom and me. And that even He heard even the smallest prayer from a six-year-old.”
When Ben heard about what his mom had said before she died and how she had passed, he was reminded of a prayer by his younger self. A simple prayer by a newly saved little boy learning about God. One that he had so easily forgotten. But one that God had not forgotten. At that moment he knew that his mom was going home to be with the Lord. He knew that in all he was currently going through and had been through, God cared.
“I was fighting with him, and he was looking back saying it’s ok I can take it…I want to take it.”
God doesn’t almost answer prayers or partially get them right. He does not miss. He answers our prayers according to His perfect will. In hard times, it can be nearly impossible to see through the smoke of the fires of life. But God is with us in the fire. He is not cheering us on from the outside, just hoping we can make it. Or lending a hand once and a while to give us some help. He is there in the fire, ready to go through it with us. He is waiting for us to reach out to Him and give him the very thing that is weighing us down. Even when we fight with Him and question what is going on, He is always there waiting for us.
“Sometimes He’s telling us I am bringing you right into the fire…Even within the fire, He is there.”
Most of life is filled with situations and hardships we can barely begin to understand. But just as Ben found out, God loves him. And he loves you in the times of hatred and the countless questions that you ask. He wants you to be real with him and grow closer to Him within the fire. God is not afraid of your questions; He knows they are coming.
“Just be real. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him what is deep inside.”
So, if you have gone through the fire, are going through it now, or are seeing someone going through it. Remember, God is there within the fire. But you will miss Him if you are only focused on the fire. Because it will be all that you see. Find Him within the fire. He is there waiting to be found. We may not understand why the fire is even there, but He would not allow it if you wouldn’t be able to overcome it with Him. Within the flames, He is there. He cares, and He is a God who is prepared to go through the fire with you. All because He loves you.
“So now I know He loves me.”
Words to Live By:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV).
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 (KJV).
Dr. Ron’s Perspective:
One moment life can be rolling along smoothly and suddenly, a painful life event occurs. It catches you off guard and shakes the foundation of your world. Anxiety, fear and depression are common emotional reactions. You might experience sleepless nights and a prevailing sense that life will never be the same. This can also be a time of uncertainty and insecurity. You may wonder, “Why me? Why now? What does the future hold?” This can be a powerful opportunity where one’s faith can be challenged and the purpose of life contemplated, perhaps for the very first time. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of your life, strengthening your faith by putting your trust in God. Talk to him, the One who already understands your fear and wants to comfort you. He is waiting and ready to listen. You are never truly alone!
The Problem of Pain -C.S. Lewis
The Gift of Pain -Philip Yancey
The Reason for God -Tim Keller