For about three years I worked comfortably for Nestle. It was a great job and I was doing well there. I had been recently promoted but felt something was missing. I didn’t see Jesus moving in my life like I thought He would be. Which led to me leaving my job and pursuing a teacher’s license and a job as a substitute teacher.

     After faithfully obeying this direction for two years, I finally arrived at my student teaching component. And immediately had surgery on my shoulder. I couldn’t physically provide for myself. I couldn’t financially provide for myself. And I was totally confused. I had just finished memorizing the Gospel of Mark. I was finishing getting my license and here I was, completely miserable. So I found myself writing down the following when I was asked about leaving the faith (i.e. apostasy):

“I’m sorry you are considering walking away. I guess what I would say is I’m sorry hope has perished within you. And I don’t really even know what to say. But I’m reminded of a song by a singer I greatly admire named Rich Mullins. It’s called ‘Hard To Get’ and he spends most of the song lamenting how it seems Jesus is playing hard to get and how this provokes doubt, even despair in him. He even says “I know that it would not hurt any less, even if it could be explained.” I don’t think I can explain your hurt to you and even if I could, it won’t remove it.

But as Christians we have a peculiar hope; it is a mysterious hope, but it is that Christ in us is the hope of glory. Rich finishes the song singing, “I can’t see how You’re leading me/ Unless You’ve led me here/ To where I’m lost enough to let myself be led./ And so You’ve been here all along I guess/ It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get.” I have found in my wandering I have felt misguided and hurt. And I have found that my hurts have led me to anger and so I destroy my memory of God’s promises to me. I destroy hope and so I despair. But I guess I would say if you’re there, ask for hope. Ask for help. You probably already have and it still seems like it hasn’t come. Which invokes despair."

More next time.