An ongoing prayer of mine was answered with a clear, "No," and my mother died.
For quite some time, I no longer could feel the full comfort of God, and I wasn't sure why. If someone had asked me, "Are you upset at God?" I would have quickly responded, "Of course not! I trust God fully."
Yet truthfully, even in all my supposed spiritual maturity...I still really struggled...really struggled hard.
Then, about a week ago, I began reading in the book of Job. I intentionally began reading Job, because maybe there would be something in that book of suffering that might help me. I began reading it in the dark, from my phone, in my bed before going to sleep one night.
And there it was right there in the first chapter. This verse: "In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." (Job 1:22) And the tears began for me, there in the dark, while reading the word of God from my phone.
My heart was pierced with the realization that I was indeed holding a grudge against God. If someone had asked me directly, I would have denied that I was holding such a grudge, and I would have believed my own denial. But the word of God has this supernatural ability to be "living and active." The word of God is able to "pierce the division in soul and spirit," and it "discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
I was hardly even aware of it...but deep down in my thought life...there were these types of thoughts lying there: "All I know for sure is that I had prayed earnestly, and God could have changed the outcome; but He didn't."
Those were my secret thoughts; but my conscious, good Christian voice would push those thoughts down and tell myself, "God knows best. Something good will come from this." But even as I told myself the truth; my lower lying thoughts still had a grasp and were thinking, "Yeah, right...something good will come. It better. God, you better show me why this happened soon, because, secretly, I don't know and I doubt you."
When I realized, through reading God's word, that I was not like Job; and that I was indeed blaming God within the deep recesses of my heart -- I immediately realized that my secret attitude of charging God with wrongdoing was an attitude that was blocking me from truly knowing His peace and from experiencing His guidance in my life once again.
And so I prayed, and I confessed, and I asked God to take this grudge deep within my heart, and to remove it. And I have had to pray it more than once, and on more than a few days; but I can testify that my heart is softening and I am realizing that it is true: "God's mercies are new every morning."
And I have learned this:
It is nearly impossible to fully accept God's truths in the light of the morning, when we are holding a grudge against Him in the secret place of our heart.
I couldn't experience His mercies for a time; because as the morning was dawning, I was saying "Praise the Lord!" with my mouth, but my heart was not in sync. I'm not sure if my heart and my praise are even fully in sync yet. But I do know this: I am praying to God specifically to help me deal with this; and I am experiencing His presence again, and I truly trust that somehow, someway, He will get me through.
Four months ago, I thought I would be joyously praising Him by rejoicing after an answered prayer; but instead, I am meekly but honestly praising Him for being with me while I mourn. And there is something deep and intimate about this that I cannot describe yet; except that I look forward to a new and deeper understanding of Him when this period of deep mourning reaches some sort of end.
In the meantime, here is what I have to say to any mourners who are struggling to find the promised comfort of God for this time. Ask the Spirit of God to search your heart to convict you of any grudges you may be holding against God. If you realize there is a secret grudge deep down in your heart -- ask God to help you deal with it. Ask God to help you resolve it; and realize it may still take some time. It may be a prayer you have to ask day after day for awhile. Ask God, "Please remove this grudge in me; and replace it with your truth and hope." If you are feeling stuck with God after a huge loss; this could be a reason why.
If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos
The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks
Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans