In Whirlwinds

I am caught in a whirlwind and I cannot stand against it.
My own small tragedies swirl around with the momentous miseries of the world
And I am lost.

A friend’s son with cancer–
Another earthquake in Japan–
Doubt and questions about the future–
Everywhere, everywhere loss and suffering and pain.

Around and around
And I am dizzy, and confused, and hurt
And yes, I am angry, and afraid.
My faith feels very small.

My thoughts spin and the world spins
And everywhere, everywhere the evil of one man’s fall
multiplied by his billions of sons and daughters
and the groaning of the earth,
And I cry out with millions of other voices,
Why?

I am not like Job.
I do not sit in the ashes of my grief and say simply,
“He gives and takes away– blessed be His name.”
I do not know how.
It is easier to give in to the anger.

But Oh, God, a life without You,
Without knowing Your mercy and grace,
Without believing in Your steadfast love–
This is a life not worth living.

You are God, God over all,
And we cannot understand the devastation,
But that does not change You.

You are love.

Oh Lord, I believe.
Help my unbelief.

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8 thoughts on “In Whirlwinds

  1. Thank you, Erin. I have been trying to remind myself of this all day. It helps to see it in such solid, encouraging words.

    And, prayers for your family continue.

  2. i am not a questioner. i’m an accepter in almost all cases {except one… i remember the night eric’s fellow officers came to my door and told me he had been taken to the hospital… and i remember thinking that if God took him, and left my grandmother here {who was just alive with no life in her} i would have a hard time with it)

    anyway… perhaps for survival, i tell myslef thru the tears that something will come from the ashes… and i believe it. but i also believe that way of thinking is a gift from God that He chose to place in me. and this part you wrote…

    You are God, God over all,
    And we cannot understand the devastation,
    But that does not change You.
    You are love

    … it sustains me, just like it does you. He is love. and He loves like nobody’s business 🙂

    i love your poem, your honesty. you are beautiful, even in the whirlwind.

  3. faith
    beyond the darkness
    opens our heart
    to the light
    of God’s truth

    thank you for expressing this here.
    it has helped me to think again about faith.

    and i know through this that i am not alone in this life of faith that is hard for me to accept because i can not always see it clearly.

    i tend to close my hand tightly in an effort to hold on to faith, instead of opening my hand to receive it.

  4. It feels like this is my constant prayer lately: Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. I have to think it’s enough, in the hard times, when it’s all I can do to just say that. Holding on to a sliver of faith and trusting that God can and will give more.

  5. Erin, he did not simply sit and say “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” He cried out to God, asked Him why he’d been born, wished his life over – “Why, why, WHY?” he demanded.

    And there, after his friends had spent their advice, after the voices around him had stopped, God came down to him with no answer but Himself, because God knows how small our faith is when we suffer, and He draws near in His Godness and shows us who He is.

    I have been here. I am here. I had a three hour conversation with a friend last week about a loss that doesn’t seem as big or as important as yours, and she told me that I have to believe that I was wounded – however valid it may seem when compared to the suffering of the rest of the world. God doesn’t just love us as the world collective with everyone else prioritized over our individual concerns. He counts the hairs on our heads, he knew that little soul in your womb, he knows the inside-out of you and your heart, and He does not dismiss you and your pain with the “you just need to have more faith.”

    He loves you incredibly, and the tears clogging up my throat as I write this mean that He’s sharing with me to share with you, and I love you too.

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