I was just pondering on the fact why we as human beings are not always the same. I mean, there are people with whom we dare to be more open than with others. People of whom we know that they love us and that they will forgive us whatever we might say or do. But there are other people we do not know that intimately and therefore we are a still bit cautious of how to deal with them.
Be that as it may, my latest lesson learned might be called, “Susanne, take off your holy mask and show more of what is hidden behind!” 😉 Although I learned a few painful lessons this week before that one, I just want to describe what I experienced last night as to my more and more honest relationship with God.
Yesterday I was extremely tired although I had slept long enough the night before. After an extended and rather cold bike ride in the afternoon, I felt more and more tired on Sunday in the evening, looking forward to enjoy a restful night since the last week, except for the night before, had been extremely exhausting due to some emotional issues which God relentlessly had cut open in my heart. But God whose plans always have the best in mind for our spiritual well-being decided to keep me awake for some reason.
How? Just wait and see… Maybe some people might say, “Okay, such things happen……That was not God’s doing……This world is full of selfish people, so don’t you wonder………It surely was the devil…….”
Okay, okay. Please, listen first. Well, here’s my story.
As soon I was lying in bed, I just wanted to pray which I always do before sleeping. Although we live in the middle of a bigger city, in winter it is normally rather quiet late at night and sleep should be no problem unless there is a loud party going on or something like that. No party last night, thank God.
Nonetheless, I jumped out of my bed as I suddenly heard a motor running. No rest for prayer at all. At first it was rather loud, after a half hour way less noisy, then howling, later almost quiet, out of the blue loud again…..and so on. That irregular and intermittent sound made me nervous and angry. I had such experiences with feeling tormented by noise in our city, even for many weeks without ceasing in the past, too. Sometimes we had construction areas next door where rooms had to be dried and heated during the night and that was a very irregular and loud noise as well.
Alas, I have been extremely sensitive to noise for all my life – and I can’t change that. Therefore I eventually had to take chemical drugs at these times so that I could at least sleep bit, though not that restfully as usual.
And last night?
Indeed, for the first time in my life I realized that I was not angry at the persons who caused that noise since I assume they had a good reason to do so. Instead, I got more and more angry at God who did not listen to my prayers. Several times I asked Him to stop the noise so that I could finally sleep, although I was not sure whether He would really listen to me or not. But lately He often surprised me with answered prayers as for such and similar things. However, not in the dead of this night. Things got worse and worse, that is, louder and louder, and despite having looked for another sleeping place where I couldn’t sleep better either (same sounds), God made a “strange” thing.
As I got more and more mad at Him, somehow yelling my prayers at God, He approached me in such an overwhelming and intimate way that I was at first amazed. Nevertheless, hearing the noise in the background and realizing that God did not want to answer any of my prayers – the way Susanne wanted Him to act – made me absolutely furious. Losing all self-control before Him when He asked me,
“Susanne, do you still love me?”
I answered, “No! Not at all!! And YOU know it. How could I? My love is conditional. If you do not care for me the way I need it, my love is gone.”
Afterwards I waited a few seconds, but hell broke not loose, Instead, I felt God coming closer and closer, beginning to overwhelm my senses with His loving embrace. But I was more courageous than ever. I said,
“God, I cannot enjoy your love. I want to sleep. And if You don’t help me, I’d rather want to be alone.”
Forget the rest of the night. God remained in the background, but I sensed He was only waiting for me to call Him back. Still angry, Susanne let Him wait. In the morning after a short and fitful sleep, I awoke with a headache (the noise lasted for 12 hours, maybe next night again, only God knows) and I could hardly keep my eyes open today. As I realized that I didn’t want to pray (read “talk with God”) any longer, I heard Him asking me to tell Him everything that I would hate about His decisions and unfathomable ways for us human beings.
Oh boy, it was a lot!!! Still a bit cautious in the beginning, I poured my whole heart out before Him, telling God all those things I could not understand and I found were/are truly painful in my past life and now. As I dared to be as open to Him as I was never with any human being before, I felt extremely relieved, even peaceful again, and I was reminded of the words Jesus once said,
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3-4 ESV)
In fact, what we so love about children is their honesty, isn’t it? You always know what they think because they tell you about it immediately without further reflection. You know whom they like and whom they don’t like because their faces wear no mask – yet. They are REAL.
So, the only thing I can tell you now, after having complained before God like Jonah about the gourd that had withered, is that God is indeed our unconditionally loving Father in whom we may trust whatever might happen because