I’ve been struggling with God a lot lately. For the two weeks that I just recently spent at Camp Cherokee, I had been wrestling with God. I knew in my head that God is good, that God is love, but my heart was questioning that knowledge. I think that it’s good to question God now and then because God always proves Himself true, and our faith comes out stronger on the other side.
I won’t go into detail about the specifics of why I was questioning God, but some of the questions I was asking involved whether or not God was holding out on me, whether or not He was really mighty to save anyone, whether or not He was putting to use all of His influence, all of His resources, to reach the people I love. I don’t know, maybe that sounds ridiculous to you. But I’ve grown so tired in my heart of watching people I love ruin their lives. I’ve exhausted my emotions agonizing over the emptiness I see in their lives when I know full well why they are so empty. And I’ve grown weary of praying for them and not seeing any results. In my weariness, I began to wonder if maybe God had given up; maybe they were beyond His reach, maybe they had rejected Him to the point that He would no longer spend His Holy Spirit in trying to win their hearts. Was God really love? Were God’s intentions really good? For me? For them?
While at camp, I came to a sort of peace, but I wasn’t truly, deeply at peace. I came to a point where I could see daybreak coming; it wasn’t yet arrived, but this present darkness would come to an end. Part of that peace came from reading Hebrews 10-12 and also 2 Timothy 2:11-13, which says, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God who is love cannot be untrue to His own character.
Then on Sabbath I read something that was even more reassuring. I was reading in the Desire of Ages about the triumphal entry (p. 576). Ellen White talks about how Jesus paused at the crest of the hill above Jerusalem and began to sob bitterly. She says,
The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering. Just before Him was Gethsemane, where soon the horror of a great darkness would overshadow Him. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the beasts for sacrificial offerings had been led. This gate was soon to open for Him, the great Antitype, toward whose sacrifice for the sins of the world all these offerings had pointed. Near by was Calvary, the scene of His approaching agony. Yet it was not because of these reminders of His cruel death that the Redeemer wept and groaned in anguish of spirit. His was no selfish sorrow. The thought of His own agony did not intimidate that noble, self-sacrificing soul. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus—Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound. He had come to save her; how could He give her up?
Shame on me. Shame on me for entertaining the thought that my tears were more than those of Creator God himself, for imagining that my love runs deeper than God’s, who by definition is love.
In the face of separation, divorce, from God the Father—an unfathomable concept for all of heaven—Jesus wept in anguish not for His own pain, but for the loss of His earthly love. Shame on me for doubting. And praise God for His patient love and faithfulness.