When our beliefs and experiences do not align, it can be challenging to figure out our direction in life. However, this can also be an opportunity for spiritual growth, even though it may not be an easy step to take in our lives. It is very easy to ignore the call to find inner peace and reflect on our beliefs with all the distractions around us. But if we ignore this call, we will always experience a sense of unease and restlessness that will crop up in the quiet moments of our lives. By embracing the opportunity to grow spiritually, we can find the peace that both we and God seek. Although it may seem like a crisis of faith, it is a chance to grow to have a more profound existence. We safely can take this deep dive into the essential rhythms of new life.
When we experience life and our beliefs that don't align, our core question is often, "Why?" "God, how could you allow this to happen?" This is a big broad stroke because it breaks down in so many different ways. I often hear it when one is in a crisis of faith. A natural human response to negative life experiences is, "Why?"
It is important to acknowledge that God can answer the toughest questions that we have and take care of our emotional well-being. He made us, He knows what we need to be cared for rationally and emotionally - our souls. Theology, which refers to our understanding of God, is necessary when it comes to the concept of free will and our relationship with God. God has granted humankind the freedom to make choices. To suggest that God would override our free will would be to deny this notion. If God were to manipulate our will, then we would be nothing more than mere puppets without any real choice over our lives. Our free will is crucial to our existence and we must use it wisely. Therefore, the question of whether God would override our free will is irrelevant as it contradicts the essence of our existence. We can get stuck with questions about the 'why' of our lives while ignoring our heart's responses to life circumstances that deeply trouble us.
For instance, when I have sat with parents who have lost a child and their question is why, I have asked, "If you knew why would it take away your pain?" They have all said no, that wouldn't take away the pain. We can't answer heart pains and grief with head answers, and vice versa.
It all starts with being honest with God about how we feel regarding the circumstances of our lives or the situations we witness. Whether the misuse of our free will or the free will of others God can care for us after the experience. When we express heartfelt responses towards God, it brings us closer to Him and this is what the 'deep dive' is all about. The questions in our head may seem almost accusatory towards Him as if He is to blame for the free will found in the world. Remember, we all can either be His puppets or we can receive and live out our free will towards him. We live in a broken world that needs God and His people to be a shining light. If our crisis of faith pulls us away from God, we resist the greatest source of life to our existence. Turning away from God may be our choice, however, we are turning from the answers and care we long for. If we see our crisis of faith as an opportunity to grow, that growth starts from our heart towards God who is the source of truth and understanding about the experiences of our complete lives and the interpretations of world events.
There are challenging situations in life that don't have easy fixes. I am convinced God doesn't believe in easy fixes - life is too precious for such responses to deep movements in our souls! It is important to have a safe and supportive environment where we can share thoughts, be heard, discern what the Lord is saying to us, hear what He is inviting us to, and embrace the rhythm of prayer. If you need such a space, I invite you to come. It would be my privilege to sit with you and offer my support.