Sara didn't know how long she had sat there feeling numb but now her body had followed her mind. She listened as her friend told her God had not forgotten them. The words still sounded bitter in her heart. God! How could she feel He even cared about her anymore? Wasn't she just some vessel He kept using to help others and yet he let her and her family go through the fires of failure over and over? What did any one know about how she felt anyway!
Betrayed. That's how she felt about God. She felt she had spent her life climbing the mountains and she had not complained. She had taken the small valleys He sometimes let her find and tried to make the most of each peaceful moment. But lately there had been nothing but mountains upon mountains and she felt God had betrayed her trust that He would take care of them. Sara hadn't asked for miracles before. She had just asked him to watch over her son. This child of hers that seemed to find himself and be on the road to confidence and maturity only to find another boulder had rolled over him! It wasn't fair. Especially this time. This time he was truly not deserving of the pain about to be heaped upon him. Her mother's heart felt torn out from her and she could no longer see any of God's mercies in her life. He had walked away from her leaving her by the road wounded and bleeding. What kind of God did that? Her anger was rising and she knew that she no longer cared what God thought about her anger against him. She felt defiant as she told Him that she was better off with him! There were times her anger vasciliated between God and her son. Both of them had let her love down. When would she ever be free of this burden?
Somehow the weeks passed but her anger didn't and Sara held onto it like a precious jewel. It fed her rage and slowly her heart's capacity for love and understanding was closing. She wasn't going to write him, not this time! But when the letter came she knew she had to read it. He didn't ask forgiveness--not even understanding. His words were quiet, not like him at all, who was this person? He told her that Moses had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years with God's people and he had done the same thing in his life. It was time to get out of the wilderness he told her and God knew the only way to get his attention, just like he did with the Israelites, was to put him in a place where there was no one to turn to but Him. She was tempted to write him back and tell him he was wasting his time if he thought God was going to help him back to the future. But she didn't and she felt a tiny seed, smaller than even the mustard seed, wiggle it's way into her heart. At first Sara barely noticed it but as she read his letters week after week, she knew God had indeed changed him. Was he right? Had God not only not betrayed them, but had God actually thrown him a lifeline mixed in with the pain? The seed seemed to grow a little with those thoughts. Still, she wasn't quite ready to let go of the anger, the wall she had built between her and God.
"Fine, if it works for you", Sara thought, "but I'm not ready to see salvation just yet." The ability to trust God after so many years of heart ache had taken it's toil. She knew she was in danger of giving Satan the final glory, a glory he had worked on for years to separate her from God. Part of her cared and part of her was too exhausted emotionally and physically to fight back.
For the first time in her life she did not call out to God for comfort. She had always wondered what it was like for people who had no faith. She felt the void hole of nothingness settle into her. She began to feel more alone than she had at any point in her life. Maybe God existed in her imagination but it had at least given her something, someone, to hold on to when she only had herself for comfort. Now, she didn't even have that. She found herself even angry that God had driven her to this state of mind.
"He could have brought me back, if He really loved me", she thought. "Free will is just an excuse for not helping us. What a grand way of slinking away from us and acting like you're being so noble!", her rage yelled. The angrier she got, the better she felt.
But the son, this child she had always had to led, was now attempting to lead her. "Mom, it isn't God's fault! I see now his mercy is everlasting and I am the one that needed to change! Lack of humility has always been my weakness; me and my stubbornness to always be right and every one else wrong! But I was wrong, maybe I didn't do the crime, but I still placed myself in that situation where it could happen. God is trying to tell me that is as bad as the crime itself because I knew I was walking away from him just being there!"
Sara didn't know when the tide changed, when she let her pride go by the way side and allow herself to cross back to God. She was surprised He didn't make her pay a price for walking away, didn't require her down on her needs with humility exposed. Rather there was simply a new peace growing inside of her.
"It's okay, He seemed to say, everyone has their limit and I know you thought I had pushed you past yours. But my child, I would never do that, I gave you a capacity to love way beyond others so I always expect the extra mile from you. There will be a reason and yes I will use your gifts for someone you've yet to meet. Just trust me...."
Just trust him. How many times had Sara felt those words from God? And yes, despite the painful roads He led her on, there was always someone at the end of the road she knew He meant for her to meet. Even the pain along the way would be needed to understand this person.
So she finally gave up the last piece of resistance that Satan had super glued into her heart. Sara felt a part of her rip when she let it go and realized hate does that to you. It rips you as it comes and as it leaves. But it didn't matter now. She could finally write him back. Finally come to him with peace in her heart.
Some didn't believe in Satan's power even as they embraced God, she thought. But Sara knew the devil well as she had stood outside his gates often as she tried to pull someone out. She knew how powerful his pull was and his favorite tools were feelings of betrayal, rage, lust and hate.
Sara turned her face back to God and felt the devil's breath upon her neck.
"I'll be back for you! You know that!" he sneered.
Yes, Sara thought, I know you will and with the Grace of God, you will always have to leave. For one moment, she was frightened about how close she had come in stepping into the devil's cage. She remembered how it felt to be void of God, how lonely she had felt for the first time in her life.
"Don't let me forget that feeling Lord, I know now the price I'd have to pay to be without you." She took out her pen and began to write, "Dear Son, I know you're right......"
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Brings back memories of a time when I cried out those same things and dealt with that same rebellious spirit, believing that if God is truly Love, then I should never have had to suffer. Oh, but I have huge shoulder muscles now from carrying those heavy burdens. Big shoulder muscles make a nice place for other people to lay their weary heads. :::smile:::