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Why This?

Have you ever encountered a struggle that left you devastated, leaving you in a place where you questioned your faith and God's reasoning for the pain? Maybe you've endured a circumstance that left you empty-handed and utterly broken. Just when it seemed like God was working and your life was finally making some progress into a direction you were desiring, everything came crashing down and all you were left with was the numbing pain of what to do with the pieces of your shattered heart. It is during these times that it is difficult to process why God leads us to dark places such as these. Maybe it seems like your journey consists of tiny glimpses of light that quickly dissipate into the darkest of nights with no end in sight. Just when it seemed like God was about to do something miraculous, it felt like your dreams were dashed and you were left with the shattered pieces of your hopeful heart.

Maybe occurrences in your past still make your heart ache and break beyond what seems like nothing could ever repair. Some hurts just run so deep that nothing can seem to ease the pain. Sometimes hurts like these feel like time will never heal the dark scars that were engraved on a battered heart. It's during these times of bitter suffering that are the most difficult to find God's presence and purpose for the situation at hand. It's hard to accept that "all things do work together for good." It's hard to trust that He's working it out.

There have been times in my life that I thought God was providing direction in my life and I placed my trust in Him thinking He was leading me a certain way, and then out of nowhere the opposite of what I thought God was leading me toward occurred and it led me into intense questioning.

Knowing God can do anything and having a faith that He is capable of all things can sometimes lead us into discouragement when He chooses not to provide the way we were desiring. We know God is capable of doing the impossible, but in this case He chose not to and it leaves us in utter confusion and bewilderment at His decision.

In these dark moments I have found my heart aching and my mind asking God:

Why did this happen? 
Why are You allowing this? 
Why did You not provide the way I wanted? 
Why did You choose not to do the impossible when You were capable? 
Why was Your direction so clear, only to leave me in this uncertain dark place? 
Why do You keep stripping my life of what I desire the most? 
Why do You withhold things from me that others are so freely given?

Some things just do not make sense now. I cannot tell you how many times I have questioned God's purpose and why He chose to end certain seasons of my life that I wish would have continued; or why He chooses to end certain loved one's lives earlier than others. The biggest struggle for me to comprehend is God's reasoning. I have often questioned if the pain I have experienced is worth the purpose God is using it for.

While I don't have an answer that accurately relates to everyone's circumstances I have found this to be true: God identifies with our pain. He sees the deep wounds that scarred us. He sees it all. That is one of the attributes I love most about God. He knew us before we were born and He's been with us all along. He knows our full story. He is not just viewing our life in snippets or snapshots, but He sees our life from beginning to end. Nothing is overlooked, missed or forgotten. He knew what caused our first heartbreak, and knows how those same struggles have been digging deeper into our hearts over time.

God is not just someone who listens, but He understands. He gets it. He has been there before. He knows what it is like to suffer. He has gone through rejection. Immense physical pain. Emotional trauma. Torture. Persecution. Betrayal. Loneliness. He has not just experienced the emotions, but He is the one that has been with us, experiencing the pain as we endure through it. He's the one that has been by our side helping us along. Everything that broke your heart, broke His. Every worry that you've faced, He knew the weight it caused. Every heartbreak that continued to dig deeper into your soul, He was there taking every hit.

When you experience those hard struggles and wonder what God is doing, just remember that God sees. You may wonder why certain things are occurring (or the lack thereof), but God has purpose. Even if we did get answers to our many questions, His plan does not always make sense to us. Our finite minds were not made to fathom the vast and great plan that He is using to fulfill His purpose through our lives. This is where faith comes in to play.

Faith is one of those words that we all know, but few really take full advantage of it's full intent, me included. Faith is knowing God has a special purpose and finding rest in knowing that He has got it under control and knows what He's doing. It's trusting His wisdom and acknowledging that we do not need to have all of the answers to be able to find joy in our circumstances.

When we're experiencing the pain and amidst the struggle it is hard to get a clear perspective. We become so engulfed in the situation that it clouds our view. Sometimes we do not realize that the darkest of times is allowing us to grow the most abundantly. It gives us the opportunity to discover God in a more intimate way than we ever could have if everything was going as we desired. Instead, what we thought was breaking us, was in fact, strengthening and refining us beyond our hopes and dreams. You may not see it in this life on earth, but I believe one day we will see that the relentless raging fires that we withstood, were being used to refine us to God's perfection.

If you are looking to your present circumstances and asking God "why this?" remember that He sees your pain and understands your past. It might not make sense now, but nothing we experience is wasted. Nothing. Everything is teaching us something, impacting another's life and strengthening us beyond our greatest hopes and dreams. We may not be happy with our lives or see the results now, but one day we will be surprised by the amazing purpose God was using us to be a part of.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. // Proverbs 3:5-6

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. // Ephesians 3:10 

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. // James 1:2-4

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