Last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy really gripped me. There were several different story lines going on, and they’re all important, but April’s crisis of faith was one that has really stayed with me.
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” That’s what Jesus said on the cross before he died. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Job asked the question, too. But he kept the faith. And what did he get for it? Replacement children. PTSD. Was it worth it to have been a faithful servant? Or would it have been better to just curse God’s name from the beginning? Where was God throughout all of Job’s suffering and pain? He was winning a bet with Satan. Makes you wonder where He is through all of the unfairness and inequity and cruelty in the world. Where is He now?
This was April’s voice-over at the end of the episode, after she was also tested four times (like Job) with four different patients throughout her shift. Three of those four patients died and “shouldn’t have”. The fourth one got into a heated discussion with her about the Bible in which he questioned it if he couldn’t take it literally (his right hand sinned, so he tried to cut it off). The episode ended with her seemingly hooking up with an intern after a drink at the bar. It ended with her questioning her faith and asking if it’s even worth it to stay loyal to God if life is still going to be hard and filled with grief and pain and suffering.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
God literally told us that we would suffer and have trials in this lifetime. But in the same breath, he also encourages us and reminds us that He’s overcome the world. He is greater than any suffering we may have or will experience. It’s so easy to question His plans for our lives when tragedy strikes or things don’t go your way. Whether a constant barrage of difficulties and frustrations or one earth-shattering, life-changing situation occurs, we question Him. Why would he allow us to suffer? Why allow such tragedy and heartbreak when He should have our well-being in mind at all times?
It’s so easy to question it.
But faith isn’t always easy. We don’t (and can’t) understand the big picture. We don’t know what “lesson” each valley has waiting for us. But God knows. And we’re going to suffer – we’re going to stumble and limp through phases of life, but know this…we are not alone. Isaiah 41:10 states, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” He’s not just leaving us to wither away and suffer in silence on our own. We are faced with sin, but God never leaves us or turns his back on us – instead, he supports us and strengthens us!
I don’t know how many times I’ve personally cried out to God in complete frustration and sadness and defeat, questioning His will and plan for my life. Losing loved ones, physical and emotional suffering, going through a divorce, struggling with life post said divorce, wading the waters of my faith, moving across the country on unsteady ground, an unplanned (but very much wanted) pregnancy while living so far from family and friends, constant financial problems…the list goes on and on and on. We ALL have a list. And surely there’s been enough difficulty, right? SURELY I’ve been through “enough” and now life should be easy, right? Isn’t that how it works?
That’s not how any of this works. The pain and trials aren’t going anywhere. There will still be hardship and agony in my future, and as much as that completely scares the complete crap out of me, I still love God. I still turn to Him and want to know Him on a deeper level. Why? Because He didn’t say it would be easy, but He did promise it would be worth it. I’m going to have more moments and crises of faith, but the amazing thing is that God can take it. He can take the curse words I spew at him in the middle of the night after I’ve shed hours’ worth of tears. He can take my doubt and questions. And He still loves me despite my anger and outrage. He allows me to have my temper tantrums but He’s always RIGHT.THERE, waiting for me with open arms and unfailing love.
I don’t have all of the answers, and I probably never will. I have far more questions than I do answers, but I’m a constant work in progress. My goal is to grow closer with God and learn about Him. I’m currently reading the Bible in one year this year, and it’s been such an eye-opening and humbling journey so far (and it’s only still January!). A relationship with Him is important, but I’ve got to learn about Him, through His words in the Bible. That’s how it’s done. I’ve got to put in the work in order to be fulfilled in ways that my soul craves.
And it’s H A R D! I’ve pushed past fears I’ve held onto so tightly for too many years to count. I’ve cried tears of joy and tears of sadness and frustration. It’s a work in progress. Always and forever. And I’m okay with that. I cling to my God and He gives me hope and peace and joy and strength. He gives me His promise that I will be rewarded for my loyalty and faithfulness. He promises eternity at His feet. Oh what peace this brings my heart and soul, even when I question Him and doubt his faithfulness to me.
These are just the thoughts and feelings of a girl obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy that’s on a journey to learn and understand God’s Word while craving and shaping a relationship with Him.