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Woe is Me
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It’s been 16 months since I was laid off from my full-time job and for 13 of those months I’ve praised God for all I knew He was doing to care for me. Freelance writing jobs came pouring in and there was enough money to pay all my monthly bills. I even had discretionary spending.

If you did the math, you’ll see that I praised God for 13 months but I was laid off 16 months ago. Three months ago, all (and I mean all) of my freelance writing jobs dried up. I searched even harder for full-time or even part-time work. I continued to submit resumes. One seemed especially promising—a managing editor position at a nearby Christian organization. The job was a sure thing.

I was devastated a few weeks later when I got a form e-mail from the company saying they had prayed about it and decided to go in another direction.

But what about my prayers? What about my needs? Where was God in all of this?

My praises turned to lamentation. I lost faith in God’s plan for me. I started to doubt my relationship with God. Did I have an unrepented sin for which I was being punished? Was I not working hard enough at church? Attending enough Bible studies?

Israelites Had Similar Feelings

While reading Psalm 44, I discovered that the Israelites had similar feelings.

“You drove out the pagan nations by your power … You crushed their enemies and set our ancestors free. They did not conquer the land with their swords; ... It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:2-3).

Their praise turned to complaints in verses nine and 10. “But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor. You no longer lead our armies to battle. You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.” I wondered what the Israelites had done to anger God, but verse 17 set me straight. “All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. … Our hearts have not deserted you. … But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. … Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love.”

What I thought was a series of complaints is actually a prayer, a pleading, to God — a good example for me.

Paul, in Romans 8:36-39, restates Psalm 44:22 and reminds us that no matter what happens, nothing separates us from God’s love. “(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”). … And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord..”

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION ®.

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