It’s Not His Fault

By Jaunyce Priester

“If this is what trusting God gets me, I want nothing to do with it.”

No lightning strikes. No earthquakes. No ominous thunder.  Those words did not produce a cataclysmic display of God’s displeasure with me. It instead was the beginning of a broken trust between a father and his daughter. Or so I thought.

I have always been a resilient young woman. I have been able to reframe circumstances that can paint God in a poor light and see them for truth.

But this time I chose not to do so. I was tired of reframing, tired of being optimistic, tired of renewing my mind. I was tired. And in my tired state, I made what I thought to be a rational decision. I eliminated what I perceived to be the source of my misfortune: God.

Me, myself, and I made an executive decision. We felt it best we not continue with God as we had been. We would not deny his existence, we would not slander his name, nor would we sin against him. We would be cordial and amicable.

We wanted the basic package when it came to Christianity. You know, the one where you get a guaranteed spot in heaven as long as you did the things stated above? We felt that would work best for us and our needs.

Frankly, we felt God was to blame for the overwhelming pain we were currently experiencing and we had plenty of evidence to back it up. With all of that in mind, we moved forward in our decision.

With a hardened heart, and an equally hardened resolve, I lived life a “comfortable” distance from God. Far enough so I wouldn’t have to deal with trusting him, but close enough so I could ask him for something when I needed it.

The time I spent at a standstill with God left me more exhausted than my times of trusting him.

Like a stubborn child, curiously watching their parent, I began to approach God in small moments; still uncertain if he was truly trustworthy. Each time I approached, I felt his excitement and overwhelming love, at the same time I saw him bridle his affections so that he wouldn’t cause me to be uncomfortable.

I stuck around until he got to the heart of the matter. He would bring up forgiveness and I would recoil. Then, faster than I approached him, I would retreat. He would encourage me to let go, and I would do the opposite, holding tighter than I had before.

Looking back on it, it was a beautiful exchange. Without my realizing it, he was wearing down my resolve and regaining my trust. I thought I was doing something by running away. HA!

Maybe I would have actually accomplished something if I stopped showing back up. But I didn’t. I kept coming back, still convinced my walls were impenetrable. Then came the moment that undid it all.

While reading one of the most prolific pieces of literature I have read to date, The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, the Holy Spirit whispered to my broken heart through a quote that said,

“The real underlying flaw in your life…is that you don’t think I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything-the means, the end, and all the processes of individual lives-is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me. But you don’t.”

Fifty-nine pages later we met again and the Holy Spirit spoke to me through these words,

“…just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or I needed it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”

It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t God’s fault. I had been angry with God and I blamed him because I felt he had a hand in my pain. That he orchestrated things to lead to my heartache in order to be God in my life. But I soon realized the fallacy in my perception.

God didn’t break my heart. He didn’t betray my trust. He wasn’t dishonest with me. People did that. And God did not motivate anyone to do those things, their brokenness did.

God does not depend on suffering to make things good. He makes things good out of the decisions we make that cause us suffering. God makes everything good. God is good.

I believe things happen and God uses them more than God makes things happen. God doesn’t cause broken hearts, homelessness, miscarriages, and rape. He doesn’t need those things to show us his goodness, but because of a fallen world he uses them anyway.

It wasn’t trusting God that got me to where I was, it was living in a fallen world that did. Despite that, he is still good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28