Well, this will be a post unlike any other I've made on this blog so far. Let me first set the ground work. I am on a yahoo-group for Christian homeschoolers, particularly those using a specific curricula. Yesterday, I was floored to receive a post to the group by an obviously distraught woman who was frustrated by how someone else is choosing to parent their child (which is quite poorly as I understand it from what little I've read from her). She apparently decided that she would try to get custody of this child or something, I'm not really sure of the details, and she has become very angry because she isn't able to have her way in this situation (she is not related to this child at all, in fact she is the neighbor). She seems to have been caring for this child days on end while the parents drift in and out as whenever they "feel like it".
But, the post that led to my response (below) said that she'd learned that there is NO GOD, basically she went on to say, that is because she hasn't gotten what she prayed for. So, she was dropping from this list, and other Christian sites, etc..., etc... This, all from a woman who's been a "professing believer" for about 10 years. I think it's important that we know what to do, when we are faced with situations like this. First and foremost, we must remember the parable of the sower and the types of soil, and how some of the seed ends up (Matthew 13). Below is my response to this dear woman, whom I pray is my Sister in Christ. Be encouraged when you find yourself faced with others who are having a hard time believing, but the Word says this life will not be easy. If you are faced with someone in your life who needs a firm, yet loving rebuke, I hope that you will be willing to give it.
I beseech you, on behalf of this lady and the precious child she has been caring for that you interceed in prayer on behalf of this woman during the next few days.
For the cross of Christ, Lori
I hope you are still on this board long enough to read this.
I weep as I write to you because I understand your fears, your frustrations, your pain.
We lost our first child when she was 13 months and 15 days old to heart disease. I was 24 years old. That's been almost 13 years ago next month. During the days following her death, I was afraid, confused, bewildered, mad, you name it. But I determined in my heart before my God, that no matter what seeming injustice took place in my life, and the life of my precious daughter that I would stand like Job, and shout at the top of my lungs the words of Job 2:9-10. "Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he (Job) said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips." and Job, 1:21-22, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Before Peter denied his Lord, Christ told him (Luke 22:31-32), "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail: and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." I fear that Satan has asked permission to try you Tammy and you are failing, just as Peter did. But, I pray that once you have turned again, you will strengthen your Sisters.
Peter himself then tells us in his epistle (1 Peter 5:6-11) "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen."
This is no time for a pity party, or a fit pitching before the throne of God. He knows what He's doing, and He will use you to meet out His purposes on this earth, if you will be obedient and willing. And, I'm afraid, according to scripture, His purposes will standwhether you stand with Him or against Him in the process. You have currently postured yourself against the Almighty God of the Universe. Not a safe place to be.
In Mark 9 (starting around verse 14) it is recorded that a man went to Christ on behalf of his son who was ill with seizures. The father was distraught as he told Christ of what he was experiencing. Christ tells him in verses 23-24 "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Apparently he didn't believe completely because he asked for help in the areas where he was unbelieving. Cry out to God now Tammy, and ask for His help in believing that ALL things do work together for the good of those who love him and are the called according to His purpose. Later on in verse 29, the disciples have asked him why they were unable to heal the child, and Jesus responds, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." I encourage you to do both of these things on behalf of this precious child.
Now, for the warnings, Dear Sister, and I address you as such in hopes that you are truly a follower of Christ in Spirit and not word only. I rebuke you in love for your behavior and your post to this group. Do not blaspheme or malign your God in your time of need. I fear, precious woman, that just like Job's wife, you have spoken as one of the foolish women. I know that some will think I am being harsh, but James 5:19-20 warns us (as believers) that "... if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."
We live in a fallen world where sin abounds, death occurs, and things don't go OUR way, that's life. I learned that at the tender age of 24. But I have NEVER forsaken my God, and HE has never forsaken me. I pray that you will be strengthened and that your faith will be made perfect. Your God has assured you (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) "My grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore (Paul says) most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in reporaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."Take heart, bear up under this burden for the sake of your relationship with your God, and for this precious child you say you love.
Praying for your strength,
Lori McGuire; Alabama