Saturday, May 25, 2013

When Bad Things Happen


Growing up, my mama took me to the little church in Penfield Ga. every Sunday and let me sit on the piano bench while she played (by ear) the old hymns such as, “Love Lifted Me”, “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling”, and “The Old Rugged Cross”. It was there that I was taught to believe in God. To believe that GOD IS GOOD. That God is a loving God.

That “Jesus Loves Me”.

I was also taught in early childhood to say my prayers before I went to sleep. Who doesn’t know the old childhood prayer..“Now I lay me to down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep..If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.” I would say this every night as a child and then ask God to bless an ever growing list of family and friends! I did this faithfully, every night.

I was still saying it after I had grown up, gotten married and left home.

It was probably when I was in my mid-twenties that little seeds of doubt started creeping into my mind about God.  Those seeds of doubt continued to grow and plague me to the point that I was beginning to doubt what I believed in...

The very existence of God.

I love little children. If you want to get on my bad side, just be mean to a little child in front of me. Well, back in my younger days,  it seemed like every time you turned the TV on, there would be someone begging for donations and showing a picture of a little starving child in Africa…usually crying pitifully with flies buzzing around them. Then, the news would be about a little child being hurt or abused, and that would bother me so bad. Eventually my mind began questioning how, if God was indeed a GOOD AND LOVING GOD, and a MERCIFUL GOD…How could HE let a child starve to death or let one be harmed or even killed??

Why, even I, a mere mortal, and huge sinner, would never let a child go hungry or be harmed. This bothered me to no end. Instead of repeating my childhood bedtime prayer,  I began praying and begging God to just tell me, let me know why HE would let these things go on.

And then it happened .

It was after one such night of praying, that when I finally did go to sleep, I dreamed I was outside a sort of palace or Temple, walking down through a stone walk way lined with huge tall columns to the left of me. To the right of me was Jesus and He was answering all my questions! After listening to Him, it was like a huge jigsaw puzzle had finally came together in my mind. It all made perfect sense, and I had never felt such peace in my life. When He finished explaining everything to me, we stopped walking and I woke up.

For the life of me, I couldn’t recall what Jesus had told me. I did, however, remember parts of the dream. I also remembered that somehow life here on earth was all like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle that had all it’s pieces scattered on the floor, and until all the pieces fit back together, you couldn’t know what the whole picture was.

Now, this may have been just a dream, but I was left with a feeling of peace deep within my heart from knowing, even though I can’t remember exactly what it is that I know!

Crazy huh?

Oh, I still shake my head and cry right along with everyone else anytime there is a tragedy. or something sad comes up. 

The Bible tells us we can’t understand everything, “ because our minds are not like God’s mind”

 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Remember the old gospel song, “Farther Along”?

“ Farther along, we’ll know all about it…Farther along, we’ll understand why…Cheer up my brothers and live in the sunshine…we’ll understand it all by and by.”

Though we may not be able to understand all that happens in this old world, I am sure that God is still with us.

He never leaves us.



Helen said...

He will never leave us even unto the end. The Bible tells us so.
Very good Carlene. You had a great mama. I did also. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I believe that God did speak to you in your dream. No telling what secrets He shared with you there, but it's not time yet for us to know those answers. But He found a way to plant them in your heart so that your faith would remain. Funny, but about mid-way through your post I was thinking of the hymn at the end. We still sing it quite often in our little church. - Barbara
Life & Faith in Caneyhead