Starting a new book often brings me face to face with my own faith challenges. It seems like God uses my characters’ journeys to encourage me to dig deeper into an area of my faith that too happily skims the surface.
This new book is no exception.
Enter stage left my character, Paisley. Paisley is a cancer survivor who hasn’t exactly had a fair shake in life. Many people in her life have told her all of the reasons why her struggles are her own fault.
Paisley doesn’t believe it for a minute. She believes that life brings difficulty to both the good and evil (Matthew 5:45). Still, it is hard to accept that she continues to face one difficulty after another.
Her struggle reminds me a bit of a quote from the heroine in the movie Twister who lost her father to a tornado when she is just a girl. Here is what Jo says, “You’ve never seen it miss this house, and miss that house, and come after you!”
Paisley feels just like Jo. She knows that bad things can happen to everyone, but it didn’t happen to everyone else. It happened to her. Her cancer is at last in remission, but life isn’t done throwing challenges her way.
Paisley is left to ask a Job type question. Will it ever stop? Will God draw the line when she reaches the breaking point, or will she be crushed?
“Will You torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff?” ~Job 13:25
I have asked this same question many times. Have you?
Paisley demands an answer, of course. She sent me on a quest to reread all of the book of Job and God spoke to my heart through the heartache of Job.
Paisley’s question, Job’s question, my question are much the same. We may have all faced different heartaches, but it is human nature to want to find meaning in our struggles.
There are so many layers to Paisley’s answers that I could never include them all in one blog, but one verse stands out.
“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth judgement.” ~Isaiah 42:3