The Official Writing Challenge
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"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs" (Jonah 2:8)
Your last paragraph reminded me of this verse, and of how the idols can even take the shape of our unanswered questions.
Thank you.
How often we choose to question God and how often we refuse the answers he offers. Pain is for but a moment, hope is a for but an eternity.
Best Challenge Entry I've read in 2007. Crushing reminder of man's status as a sojourner.
Thank you. I have found this to be SO true - and you expressed it wonderfully - more eloquently than I ever could. Wonderful.
Beautifully said. An older woman of God once told me, "I've come to the conclusion that I just don't understand about life."

That kinda' sums it up for me. I have to leave it in the hands of the Master.

Encouraging article.
This is powerful.
Wow. This spoke directly to my heart -- then pierced into it's very core.

My 'whys' flew nonstop after my parents were killed in a car accident. The worst part were the "well meaning Christians." I despised the Christian platitudes.

But, at some point, the two verses that finally got through to me were the verses you've quoted here: Isaiah and Habakuk. And hearing ... "trust me".

I feel like this was written directly to me. And it was written so beautifully. Really nice piece. Thank you.
Truely inspirational.
My favorite line was,"Would I have it any other way? How small my God would be, if His every act could be placed in a pretty box and tied up with a tidy ribbon! How little faith would then be required of me!" How true this is. Thank you for taking up the difficult question of "why" and answering it so Biblically.
Amazing how a moment can change our lives forever.I like how your work showed that what was more important than why. Excellent piece and very inspiring.
Simple, true, very real, and full of faith that has struggled through hard questions. Thank you for sharing.
Great message. I have been guilty of asking why many times.
This piece will surley touch most of us.
Awesome. My heart just explodes with sympathy, desiring to reach out with compassion to ease your pain. May you be blessed in your recovery.
Poetry for the heart... I think I'll read it again
So true and so humbly and passionately communicated.
Beautiful analogies at the beginning. I loved the prickly cactus metaphor. Masterful, as always!
Wow. You very ably tackled one of the most difficult questions we humans ever ask of God--WHY?? It's a question He doesn't often answer directly, and you brought this out in a way that still encourages us and gives us hope. Well done!
Unspeakable is my response to this devotional ... you captured the essence of humanity's ponderings throughout the ages. Very well done! Excellent!
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs" (Jonah 2:8) I love this verse that Helen used in her comment. So often, we feel we have the right to live a pain-free life because we are God's children, and we cling to that "idol" and become angry with God when things don't go as we expect.

That's not the promise He gives us; but rather He promises that He will walk through our sorrows with us, teaching us what true grace is all about. You have captured this whole concept flawlessly.

One of my close friends lost her 12-year-old son last September, and your piece sums up their experience. We all have our why's in life. This piece is truly inspirational in its truth and encouragement. Thank you. Cheri
What does one say when their heart's been touched and tears are flowing? Tears of remembering mingled with tears of joy.
wow. Thank you.
This is a keeper! It reaches deep within the hidden chambers of my heart and begs me to read it again. Great job.
Well, you've already got a load of comments on this article - but I still wanted to let you know that I think this is wonderful. Very inspirational, it reaches straight to the heart.
For some, it can take a lifetime. I pray God will use this through His Merciful Grace for others.

It begs to be read again ... and again.
Your opening is very strong. I like it, especially the 'minute' between in all the scenarios. My fave sentence was "God wept when I wept." Very powerful. Thanks for sharing! ^_^
This is amazingly profound, and very lovely. What a wonderful piece. Thanks so much for sharing it.
WOW! You have touched my heart and soul! My sister-in-law is in the last stages of her battle with cancer, I really needeed to read this right now. God Bless you for sharing this beautiful devotional!
Absolutely beautiful......

And congratulations on your very much deserved success with this piece in the challenge. May it be used to comfort many others too.
Wonderful -and I loved this "In response to my why, He answered not because but rather my daughter, I love you. Trust Me."
Ah, Jan ... another beautiful piece of writing and I know it was from your heart and your own experience. You are serving God faithfully wih your message! Congratualtions for a number 1 placing!
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing this experience so eloquently. yeggy
Beautifully written and so heart-felt, with stirring words that causes the reader to think. The choice in scriptures was perfect. Very well done!
This ministered to me very specially in a very needy moment. Thank you. Verna
I CANNOT believe a judge would leave this type of comment!!
This inspired & encouraged me! Masterfully written & a much-deserved win!
Powerful imagery...beautiful truth!
It's still true today and will always be true. Thank you for the article on devotionals. I aspire to be as great a writer as you!
Thank you for the lesson Jan.
Great devotional!
WOW! This devotional captured my attention and kept it to the end...actually it lingers...
Thank you
And only when anyone relinquish control of "Why" will they fully learn to trust the Lord no mater what and experience immeasurable joy that reveals that God is truly greater than "Why". A beautiful and well written devotional.
I absolutely love this.
Thank you.
I so want to be able to write a devotional as meaningful as this. Thank you.
The first thing I did after reading this piece was to quickly send the link to a friend who has been through multiple losses this year. I knew it would help her.
As one who has lost a child, I immediately identified with this excellent piece. It expresses the experience so well.
After my own experience nearly 40 years ago, my advice to those who seek to give comfort is to use hugs, not words.