By: Kasia Chatman
If you were like me, the world watched in awe as Ava DuVernay changed the culture with the release of, “When They See Us,” on Netflix. Moreover, your heart possibly broke when you watched, “When They See Us Now,” as Antron described how he hated his father for what he had to endure at his expense. And, it got me thinking. There are times in our lives, if we are being honest with ourselves, that a lot of us feel like Antron. We question serving a God or calling him a “good, good father” when He allows us to go through so much pain and turmoil.
I know I have asked the question more than once. “God, why are you doing this to me? I serve you, I love you, and I watch people my age that give you absolutely no recognition who seem to be living a better life than me.” The high and mighty religious people will tell you that you do not question God because, “He will not put more on you than you can bear.” Many blame it on the enemy attacking you. Although this is true, after reading the book of Job, the enemy can not do anything to you without God’s oversight.
So what do you do? How do you serve God when it feels like life keeps beating you in the face? How do you forgive the person who walked away from you? How do you get over the death of that loved one who took a piece of you with them that you feel like you will never get back? How do you get closure when closure was never actually given? How do you go on living when the past keeps staring you in the face? How do you move on?
God, do you see what I am going through?
Yes, He sees and He knows all of what you are going through. For example, I remember reading the story of the Apostle Paul, when he was in jail for sharing the gospel of Jesus. In that moment, he probably thought the same thing we all think. How could a “good” God do this to me? But, Jesus showed up and said, “Be of good cheer (or courage), Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” (Acts 23:11) In this moment, God was reminding Paul that he was not suffering alone, but He was there with him. When life keeps beating you in the face, He is there. When that person walks out of your life, He is there. When that loved one passes away, He is there. When you need closure, He is there. When the past tries to come and remind you of the things that have happened to you, He is there. And not only is He there, He feels every pain and every suffering that you experience.
Paul’s life did not end in that prison, it was quite the opposite, it was just beginning. The only thing that will matter when we are gone is what we do for God. That is why we go through so much pain. It is to share our testimonies and show the next generation what it means to be free. How could we know God for a healer, provider, way maker, miracle worker if we never go through the things necessary to call him that. To actually know that for ourselves. So as Jesus told Paul, be encouraged and remember that what you are going through serves a purpose and God sees you.