So recently….OK, last night…I was having a crisis of faith. Actually, not really. It was more of a pity party. It’s been a season of hit-after-hit-after-hit….you know the kind I’m talking about. The weeks where people tell you “God is in control” or ‘All things work together for good” or “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle” or “God will bless your faithfulness”. And I was just done with it – at least for a short season. And I wanted to rant and rave and be mad and feel devastated and question God.
I’ve been a pastor for 25 years – and a Christian a lot longer than that. So I know all the spiritual answers. Most of them I agree with. (Except that ‘God won’t give you anything you can’t handle ….not Biblical…and maybe that ‘blessings for faithfulness’ bit….those are posts for another day). Aaaannnyway….fortunately I have a group of youth ministry friends who embrace it when we are authentically raw. And none of them….not one….gave me a churchy answer. They just laughed with me and cried with me and sat with me and prayed for me – albeit virtually – until I was better. (Maybe because I threatened them if they gave me typical counsel….)
Here’s the thing (and it could be a youth ministry thing, too, I think.) Sometimes we know the answer BEFORE our heart cries out in pain. And we aren’t looking for someone to tell us what we already know. We’re just looking for someone to sit alongside us in our pain, our grief, our crying out, our moment of despair.
I wonder how many teenagers I’ve trod upon with answers when they just needed compassion…..