Maybe it was mercy.

“…it just hurts, you know. I feel like God’s punishing me… like, maybe if I hadn’t replaced my relationship with God with my relationship with Bryce, God wouldn’t have allowed us to break up.” It had been almost 4 weeks since Kelly and Bryce broke off their 3-year relationship. As she and I drove down the road we discussed the past events that were still fresh in her mind and heavy on her heart. “…and I know it’s probably stupid of me, but I can’t help but wish things were different with him and I. I wish that in time we would get back together… and maybe even get married one day.” Heartbreak was evident all over her face as a couple tears trickled down her cheeks.

As her friend I knew what I wanted to say, but I also knew that my saying it wouldn’t help anything at all. I was quiet for a few moments before I finally spoke…

“We’re always so quick to assume that just because we’re going through a hard time it’s because God’s punishing us. You know… we always think He’s “judging” us for something wrong that we did. Well, I don’t think that’s how God works. In fact, I know that’s not how God works. He’ll never punish or judge me for something I did because that was settled 2000+ years ago when Jesus hung on the cross for my sin! That’s the whole point of Him crying “It is finished!” Sure, there will be consequences for our sin, but God didn’t cause them; WE caused them… God just allowed them.”

She nodded with understanding, but still wasn’t quite convinced. So I continued my thought…

“Did you ever think that maybe God let this happen out of mercy? Looking down through time, knowing that you’d fall in love with someone who wasn’t right for you and possibly marry him… and that just maybe in 10 years down the road you’d be completely miserable in a messed up marriage and a million regrets? Maybe He saw all the heartache and trouble that would possibly be in your life if He did allow this relationship to continue, you know. God cares so much; He loves you and wants what’s best for you more than anything, and sometimes we humans are just too stubborn to let go of something when we know it isn’t right for us. So I think that this happened – not because God was mad at you or trying to punish you for something – but rather He allowed this out of His mercy and His infinate love! Knowing full-well that you would probably be completely angry with Him for a time because you can’t see the bigger picture as of yet. But He has joy in knowing that one day you’ll understand and thank Him for allowing a little heartache here and there all with the purpose to bring about His perfect plan in your life!”

I thought back on my life and what God spared me from. Being adopted, I was really angry and bitter for a long time towards my biological mother and towards God. Why didn’t she want me? Wasn’t I good enough for her? Couldn’t she have found a little love for me in her life, too? Why did God let this happen to me? I had so many questions. Until one day my hurting heart completely broke and the only place I could look was up. Years later, I met my biological mother and I reached a whole new level of gratitude in my life. I found myself thankful that I had been put up for adoption. Had I been raised by my flesh and blood I would not be a Christian today. I wouldn’t know the truth about Heaven and Hell. I wouldn’t have amazing Christian friends. I wouldn’t have my godly {adopted} parents. I wouldn’t have my brother Scott. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Instead, I’d probably have a couple children by now without being married. I’d probably be a drug addict. I’d probably be an alcoholic, and maybe even done some jail time by now. I’d be an angry, wild mess.

I realize now that God wasn’t punishing me, but rather He looked down through the years and saw where I’d be if I was raised by my biological family. Not because they are bad people; they just don’t know any other way – it’s “the norm” for them. God, in His mercy, allowed me to suffer a little heartache in the beginning so that I could have a greater future.

Maybe you’re going through a rough time. You’re hurting. You feel completely alone, like no one understands, like no one cares… don’t assume you’re being punished. Yes, there will always be consequences for our wrong actions – but those are our own doing, God just allows them. Don’t get angry, don’t get bitter; you can’t see the bigger picture yet. God is a merciful God and He knows what’s best for each of His children. Trust Him – He’s so trustworthy.

Your greatest moments of pain and hurt may just be His greatest moments of mercy in your life.

[Names of individuals were changed to protect identity.]


Posted on August 3, 2010, in God's Will, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. And that’s what’s great when we know more things about God. We see differently. We know the kind of love He has for humanity. Indescribable! Undeserved. In despair, we are filled rather with hope. And joy, despite the circumstances around us. Oh God, help us see things through Your eyes! Be blessed!

  2. I feel that sometimes Satan plays his own games on us as well. The feeling of punishment may come from an insecurity of God’s love. Yesterday at church, Pastor Butcher started a series of myths about God, and the first one was about the biggest lie Satan tells us: “God loves everyone…except me.” It is so important to understand and believe God’s love and his infinite mercy for us. He sent his only son to die for our sins, to save us. Not because of what we have done [there will never be anything we can do to deserve that], but because of who He is. The Bible is God’s love letter to us and we can find how much He loves us that He takes care of us…always. The message [plus more points] hit me so straight on my face and heart, I felt as if I was the only one sitting in front of Pastor Butcher and he was talking straight to me after knowing everything that has happened lately in my life. He doesn’t, but I know God does, and it was so healing and touching that it opened my eyes to see what the real problem in my life has been.

    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~~Romans 8:35:39

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