Life is full of ups and downs of heartaches, and tragedy. The average life has more downs than ups, and more heartaches and tragedies than moments of pure joy. Perhaps that is why we treasure those moments of pure joy. They are so very rare, worth more than all the precious jewels on the planet.
That is life.
The problem with this is that we Christians have been sold a false bill of goods by the religious industry. We must always feel good. There are to be no moments of doubt, or anger with God. That just doesn’t fit their brainwashing world view. To paraphrase, a Christian’s lot is not a happy one, no more than the life of a sinner is. Yet, we have been told if we just take that walk to the front of the church, and then submit to baptism, life is about rainbows, butterflies, and miracles.
The past few days, I’ve seen an ad for some happy-clappy feel-good movie about Christians and miracles. The scenes appear to have been shot with a soft lens and with perfect lighting. A child is holding a daisy, blowing it, as a rainbow appears, or something like that. The world is perfect, if you believe in miracles.
Consequently, if you are going through all the shit I am, and aren’t getting those rainbows and miracles, something is wrong with your faith – with my faith. If you are a Christian going through hell like I am, the lack of rainbows, butterflies, and miracles is indicative that as a Christian I am a total and complete failure. I’m not praying right, not confessing properly, or not attending the right services. The fault is mine. We cannot possibly just chalk it up to the fact that life sucks.
According to their rainbow and butterfly theory, the Lord never gives you more than you can handle. The Lord doesn’t allow us to be broken, and so forth and so on, until those of us who have been broken have been made to feel there is something wrong with us.
Life is cruel, and it hurts.
Bad things happen to good people and there is nothing we an do about it. Bad things don’t happen because we are cursed, or not right with God. They just happen. It is so very wrong to almost damn those of us who are having problems.
Problems happen. Quite often they are of our own making, but so very many times, they are not. Not all the feel-good, old time religion, happy-clappy, swaying with the music, and waving hands in the air can make it better. Karl Marx was right when he said religion is the opiate of the people. I won’t want an opiate. I want a relationship with the Lord, who understands and loves me just as I am.
Right now my faith is in bad shape. I don’t mind admitting that. I’m tired. I’ve been fighting for financial survival for the past six years. The past week has been emotional hell, brought about by lies, betrayal, and someone who hurt me, badly. I don’t expect rainbows and butterflies. Maybe I should. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I’m just a hardened realist. I don’t want my faith to be an opiate. I want hard-core reality.
I don’t want hugs, clapping, waving of hands, swaying, or shouting to the music. I want some dignity. I also want what is real. What is real is that our prayers aren’t always answered the way we went them to be answered. Life sucks, then your friends die, according to an old boyfriend. We can’t do anything about it. We also can’t lie to ourselves that all we need to do is just believe and things are going to be perfect.
They never will be.
The Lord still performs miracles. He is just as alive today as He was 2000 years ago. Miracles are far more common than we might think they are. But, I think in many ways they are almost hiding from our view. The problem with too many miracles is the people who pray for them start to think they’re the ones performing the miracles. We forget the role the Lord plays.
Things happen in the Lord’s time, not ours.
Maybe that’s the problem.
It is also the miracle.
The real miracle is that He puts up with us.