I assume that every believer has at one time experienced the sentiment found in the first two verses of Psalm 22:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.”Psalm 22:1–2, ESV
Life comes at us and sometimes it comes at us hard and with evil intent.
As I indicated in my previous post, the frustration can even come from within the church. We wonder how or why God would allow events to go down the way they do.
When the hurt comes from the church, it is tempting to walk away and give up hope that the church will ever get it right. I have felt that temptation as a result of how I and other good people were treated at two churches in particular. I mention the other people because if I were the only one treated badly, I would look first-and-foremost at myself as the root of the problem.
But when I am tempted to give up, I remember that Jesus experienced the same feelings of abandonment as he hung on the Cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to be relieved of the responsibility he was undertaking.
Remembering this is crucial (pun intended) because it was the Cross and the subsequent resurrection upon which all our hopes depend. We learn from the resurrection that the evil which appears to be the victor, is actually defeated.
For believers, the wounds that are suffered at the hands of church leaders are difficult to overcome and the only chance of overcoming them is to look beyond those leaders to the Christ that the leaders claim to follow.
I am experiencing this right now. I am trying to find the balance of pointing out where the error lies without allowing my own sin to contribute to the chaos. I have seen God’s people abused by self-interested “ministers” who care more for their power and influence then the do for those they are called to protect.
In short, I have seen too many shepherds that have mutton breath.
I choose to believe that God will lead me into a situation where I can use my gifts to further the kingdom without experiencing the heartache of manipulative leaders pushing their personal agendas.
But ultimately, I need to continually remind myself that I am a sojourner and not yet home.
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