A “No Pain, No Gain” Theology

Blogs about Heather, christianity, depression, faith, faithfulness, testimony

I read my sister’s journal.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  She spent part of Christmas break at my apartment, and she left her journal behind.  Now I know from experience that if you truly don’t want someone reading your journal, you protect it with your life.  Not only did the girl not have a lock on it, but she left it chilling on my dining room table.  The girl was calling out for me to read it.
My family has been going through some interesting things lately.  My parents have both separately failed to provide and it has left them individually homeless.  My mother is living at a hotel and my father at his mother’s house.  My sister is left hanging in between.  There is a lot to the story that I’m not mentioning, out of honor to my parents and for the desire to protect my sister.  Needless to say, I’m angry about the situation.  I talk to my sister about it, and she won’t tell me anything negative about how she feels.  She tells me these stories of junk that they do, but shows no emotion.  I pry, and get nothing.
So when she left her journal, I jumped at the chance to read it.  And what I read, I felt.
I called her and told her I read it, because I’m a good big sister ;).  I asked her why she hadn’t been telling me what she had been feeling—because her emotions were deep and hurting.  She stated, “Heather, I’m a Christian.  God gave me these things to go through, and I just have to do it.  I can’t be angry or physically do anything about it because it’s the Christian thing to just sit through it and take it.”
Since when did God command us to have no emotions?  Since when did God tell us to be content with the sin that takes place around us?
The sad thing is, my sister is not the only one who feels this way about her circumstances.  Countless Christians “just deal” with their situations because they feel that’s the “Christian” thing to do.  They say, “Well Job dealt with worse than me, and he remained faithful.”  Have you read Job?  Job remained faithful, but he also ripped his clothing and mourned over his circumstances.  Even Christ, when realizing that he would be sacrificing himself, asked God for another way.  Paul begged God three times to take the thorn in the flesh away.  These three men show us that there is no dichotomy to “being upset about a circumstance” and “trusting God.”  They can be synonymous.  It is healthy to feel emotions, even to be angry.  When you bottle that up and don’t express it, do you truly even trust God?  How can you trust God with your heart when you don’t even bear it to him?
I’m not saying you have to become “emo” and update your Facebook status every ten minutes telling everyone how crappy your life is.  What I’m saying is, mourn your circumstances.  Pray for the people hurting you.  If you have the power to change something that is hurting you, ask God for the strength to change it.  Trust that God will mold your desires to match his.  And rest in the promise that everything will work for the good of those who trust in the Lord according to His perfect will.

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