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Are you there, God? Its me, Callen.

  • What am I doing here?

  • What do I do everyday?

  • How is it already July 11th?

  • Why do I feel like I am just getting started?

  • Do I even know anyone from Thailand after a month and a half?

  • What will I tell people when I go back home? Will I disappoint them?

  • Why did Emma break her good ankle?

  • Why is Sierra in the hospital right now?

  • Why do I feel defeated when the Bible says we are “conquerors?”

  • Why is the whole team getting sick?

  • Why haven't I witnessed any “miracles?”

  • Why does nothing happen when I pray for healing?

  • Am I doing something wrong?

  • Am I going to regret not doing some things when I get back home?

  • Will anyone understand this experience?

  • Is it okay to “love” girls and then leave them trapped in the bars?

  • Why am I so quick to question God's very existence when one thing doesn't go my way?

  • Do I truly believe that God's timing is perfect?

  • Do I really believe that He is always good, even when things seem quite treacherous?

  • Do I trust God will rescue these girls?

  • Will the darkness and pain of this world ever be overcome?

  • Am I okay with not knowing God's purpose in every circumstance?

 

Welcome to my struggles.

Honestly, I do not know if these questions will ever be answered.

 

I wish I could give you the “good Christian” answer and truly believe that, “Yes, God is always good. Struggles and pain are just another form of love. These hardships are all for a good reason and God has it under control.” I wish I could tell you that I know that He hears our desperate prayers and is just answering them in a more perfect way. I wish I could tell you my faith has not been a little shaken.

 

But in all truthfulness, I do not have this thing figured out. I am struggling in my relationship with the Creator of the Universe, struggling to have faith without falter, to have hope in things unseen, to trust God in the ugliness, and to believe that He has not abandoned this team. My faith is a little harder to hold onto when it is tested by things out of my control.

 

My broken expectations for this trip, my radical prayers spoken in confidence with no immediate results, quickly crossed off calendar days, and a sudden storm of physical ailments have brought me to a place of reflection. In this time, I have realized that I have a bunch of questions.

 

And I have struggled. Numerous things this week have urged me to run away, to pretend that God doesn't exist, that I have just been living a lie for the past five years, that He is not good and that humans made Him up. In many ways, the very foundation on which I have built my whole life has been shaken.

 

But then I realize that if I actually sit in this “revelation” that God is nonexistent, I have nothing. I am alone, I am doubting, it is dark, and nothing makes sense. Without a Father in Heaven that loves me endlessly, I am a failure, I am ignorant, I am too young, I am forced to live a life pursuing wealth and quick fixes. I am without purpose.

 

So despite all these things that chase me away from giving my whole heart to Jesus, I will step out in faith. I will look like a fool and return to my God who fills my life with light and joy and peace that surpasses understanding. I will be content with not knowing everything because the things I do know about God are so much better than all the things I don't.

 

I am still desperate for God to show up, to miraculously intervene and “prove” Himself to me (again). But maybe that is what all of this is for…to bring us to desperation so that we realize how much we really do need Him. We are wholly powerless without Him.

 

“The Lord our God has secrets unknown to anyone” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

 

It is okay to have questions. It is okay to doubt. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, the God of the Universe is a pretty mind blowing concept. But I hope that you will seek out truth. Ask the questions, don't pretend that your faith is unshakable. Be honest with Jesus and let Him lead you into a greater understanding of Himself. He can handle everything you and me throw (or scream) at Him.

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