New Moon Devotion #5: Bella Acting Stupid: A Case of Wounded Faith

I paused without thinking, looking back at the four men with a strong sense of déjà vu. This was a different road, a different night, but the scene was so much the same.[…]As I stopped and turned toward them, [the short and dark one] looked up in interest.
I stared back at him, frozen on the sidewalk.
“Bella?” Jess whispered. “What are you doing?”
I shook my head, not sure myself. “I think I know them…,” I muttered.
What was I doing? I should be running from this memory as fast as I could, blocking the image of the four lounging men from my mind, protecting myself with the numbness I couldn’t function without. Why was I stepping, dazed, into the street?
It seemed too coincidental that I should be in Port Angeles with Jessica, on a dark street even.
“Are you crazy?” she whispered. “Are you suicidal?”
That question got my attention, and my eyes focused on her.
“No, I’m not.” My voice sounded defensive, but it was true. I wasn’t suicidal. Even in the beginning, when death unquestionably would have been a relief, I didn’t consider it. I owed too much to Charlie. I felt too responsible for Renée. I had to think of them.
And I’d made a promise not to do anything stupid or reckless. For all those reasons, I was still breathing.
I turned away from her, back to the men who were watching us with amused, curious eyes.
“Bella, stop this right now!”
My muscles locked into place, froze me where I stood. Because it wasn’t Jessica’s voice that rebuked me now. It was a furious voice, a familiar voice, a beautiful voice—soft like velvet even though it was irate.

It was his voice—I was exceptionally careful not to think his name—and I was surprised that the sound of it did not knock me to my knees, did not curl me onto the pavement in a torture of loss. But there was no pain, none at all.
[…]
“Go back to Jessica,” the lovely voice ordered, still angry. “You promised—nothing stupid.”
New Moon – Chapter 4

It’s been said that insanity doesn’t always howl; but sometimes, it’s a voice at the end of the day that whispers “is there room in your head for one more?”

I’d venture to say most people haven’t experienced what Bella has in this passage (yes, besides the vampires). The only voice I hear in my head is mine and God’s. If you think of that as crazy, then that’s ok, I don’t mind.

But sometimes you get tired of being the only one to keep promises. Bella is at that place. She’s beginning to get tired of being the only one hurting, and the only one holding up her end. Sometimes we can feel that way about God.
Have you ever thought that you’ve prayed, gone to church, worshipped, fasted, given money, evangelized, pretended to be happy when you weren’t, believed even though the situation seemed bleak, and were left holding the bag in the end anyway?

Didn’t a part of you want to take some of that back? I realize everyone who reads this is probably just incredibly forbearing and forgiving and completely non-bitter…but I can’t claim to have never been offended at God. Because I have. Because in some ways, I’m sure I still am.

Like Bella, I can’t see the reasons for all of his/His actions. I can’t see how some of the perceived betrayals of trust and expectation are really for my good.

But the truth is, despite all these things, no matter how long He would disappear from me, it could never be “as if He’d never existed.” Because He’s changed me completely and irreparably. There is no un-knowing and un-experiencing what I’ve known and experienced. There is no “delete” on my auditory file for the sound of His voice.

No matter what has happened, or how I’ve misunderstood His motives or intentions toward me, I could never stop loving Him. Like many of you, I’m sure that’s what makes it hurt even more.

But in all the things we wish He would say, there are things that He did say:

Don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me (Isaiah 43:1, CSV).

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27-28 NLT).

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jer 31:3).

“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again. […] So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” (John 16:16,22 NLT).

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake (Matt. 5).

Because in all of the doubt, and anger, and insanity, when our faith is wounded, and we want to just stop believing, that is when we really come to know ourselves, and Him. It is said that it is in the absence of the ones we love that we can truly show honor.

If New Moon had never happened, if all of the horror Bella experienced never came to pass, she’d never have developed into her own person. She would have lived on with Edward in inferiority, never rising up to become part of him, a partner, and an equal.

Similarly, if we can endure with Christ, we can also reign with Him (1 Tim. 2:12). Christ even said “God, Father! Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:45-46). If Christ suffered this way, can we really expect any different?

He was not truly forsaken. He rose again, and He won. He’d never have to doubt again. And Christ is our model.

Press on, because it’s going to get better.

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~ by sarahthebaker on January 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “New Moon Devotion #5: Bella Acting Stupid: A Case of Wounded Faith”

  1. Okay… I didn’t abandon your site. 🙂 I’ve been away on vacation! On a cruise! So out of internet range. Just got back tonight and am catching up on everything… including your devotionals. Love this one so much. Pressing on, holding on, hope for the “better” – we all need to remember that!! You state it nicely. So true! Write on, sister!

    • I hope you had a great cruise! Matt and I went to the Caribbean on our honeymoon, and we loved it! We want to go back someday soon. 🙂

      You’re always so encouraging. I’m glad I have such a vocal reader as yourself.

      Welcome back, Lori!

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