He was sobbing. Not a little boy — the grown man who sat on the floor across from me.
God had given up on him, or at least that's what all the evidence pointed to. We were sitting in his furniture-less house, which was actually a shed the owners were letting him rent out. It stunk of heavy smoke and many spilled beers.
He had made major mistakes. He was completely broke. His wife was going to leave him, and to him this certainly meant that God couldn't even stand to look his way.
My friend, this sobbing adult, represents how we will probably all feel at some point in life - forgotten, abandoned or unlovable. He saw the following signs as evidence that God had given up on him. I see them, however, as evidence that God just knows about life better than we do.
Not answering your prayers
You pray and pray and pray " and nothing happens.
Don't worry about it.
I'm not minimalizing how hard this can be, but the thing is, like the perfect parent that He is, God doesn't give in to our every childish request.
We want the answer now, but we might grow more if we have to figure it out on our own. We want our life to be this way, but spoiling us is not part of His plans. We think the answer will come how we plan on it coming, but it might have been sitting there all along without us realizing it. We might be certain what we are asking for is essential; God might know it would actually be disastrous.
Answers will, and do, come. A delay in seeing results doesn't mean He isn't listening.
Life is one horrible mess
If God is real, why would bad things happen to good people? It's a simple question with a complicated answer.
Don't we all have the ability to make choices, good or bad? Those choices never only affect you, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that they do. With all of us confused individuals throwing around choices every day, no wonder things fall apart. Those choices are our best teachers - even when they end up being horrible.
You're about to be swallowed by loneliness
This study reported about half of England's adults feel loneliness. Honestly, I'm skeptical. I have yet to meet someone that has never felt loneliness. It's a huge commonality we share, yet we can't seem to come together and fix each other's lonely times.
Could this mean there is a purpose to loneliness? Moses was alone as he spoke to Jehovah in the burning bush. Adam was quite possibly the loneliest man on earth before Eve came along. Everyone in Job's life abandoned him. Jesus was left completely alone in Gethsemane. I could go on, but accounts of great individuals - both religious and non-religious — show that great growth comes through periods of loneliness.
You majorly messed up. Big time
Sure, God isn't super pleased about this. In fact, it makes Him sad, but He gets it. That is why Jesus came. Guilt might be clawing away at your insides, but it's never too late to look back towards God. After all, there were some major crazy things happening in the Old Testament, and the Lord still promises, "his hand is stretched out still."
Things have been rough in the life of my friend. In that horrible time we sat in his shed-house, it could have been easy to assume God had left him to fend for himself. But he soon saw that wasn't the case, and for each of us who will go through difficult times, He will never give up on us either.