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Disappointed with God

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Yesterday was a beautiful day in Georgia. The Superbowl party at the Hyltons was a blast.   Along the way I had the chance to talk to a friend who has had a lot of pain in his life. We talked about why.   There are seasons where not only does God not do what I want him to do, but w…
By Seth Barnes
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Georgia. The Superbowl party at the Hyltons was a blast.
 
Along the way I had the chance to talk to a friend who has had a lot of pain in his life. We talked about why.
 
There are seasons where not only does God not do what I want him to do, but what’s worse, he seems to go silent. When you open the Bible, you’re reading words on a page. They do nothing for you.
 
I asked him if he was disappointed with God. He said yes. 
 
“Is God still good?” I asked.
 
“Yes,” he answered.
 
“Is he the same personal God you’ve always known?”
 
“I don’t know.”
“I’ve been there. You look and look and you hear nothing. And sometimes Christians just make it worse. The worst thing people can do when life is like that is to give you platitudes.”
 
You’d think John the Baptist would have had a clear sense of what Jesus was doing. But in jail, about to be executed, all he had was his doubts. And Jesus himself on the cross felt betrayed by God. With that as a track record, what can the rest of us hope for? The kind of pain-free life that some megachurch pastors promise seems Pollyannish.
I know a lot of friends going through this kind of dark, sad season. One of them went through constant cycles of pain, became suicidal, and eventually died in his disappointment. The pain was hard enough to bear, but the silence made it almost impossible. At the end it was all too much – he just wanted to give up the fight.
 
The Super Bowl was a great game – a titanic struggle that seemed in doubt right up until the very end. Kind of like a lot of my friends – disappointed, living in doubt even as they approach their own end.
 
Have you ever experienced the long, dark silence of God? Have you ever been disappointed in him? What do you say to someone going through a season like that?

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