How pain led me to theology

I think I’ve shared in one way or another how tough the last 3 years was for me. After facing one disappointment after another and witnessing the complete destruction of how I picture my future, it is safe to say, I lost all hope. I did  all the right things I thought would lead to certain results. I remember hearing different comments from different people telling me how I am so perfect, some came out of praise and some out of disdain. But I didn’t mind being considered perfect, because after all I did the “right thing.”

In terms of my spiritual walk, I was doing all the things, going to church, serving my community, praying, respecting my parents, etc…I sang all the Hallelujahs. I did right by God, or so I thought. What does that even mean anyways.

During this time of my life, the disappointments, shame, guilt,  and comparison had piled up so much that anything else would have destroyed me and that’s exactly what happened. How does the saying go? “The last straw the broke the camel’s back.” I was the camel

I remember I was in so much pain and I just didn’t understand how God would allow such pain to befall me. If He was all that good then why was I going through this. I had given everything to Him, or so I thought.

Let me tell you about how I had dealt with pain in the past. I would acknowledge it, give myself 4 days or less to cry and sleep in. Then i will just tell myself, I’m too good to suffer and believe it. I would listen to a lot of India Arie and neo-soul music and in about a week or two I’ll be thriving again. That was my formula for dealing with pain and I can attest to the fact that it always worked for me.

This time I told God, I am not going to make this easy for you. I am not going to heal myself. So, if you are really are God and you really are good then BE who you say you are.

I did not want to simply believe that God is good. It was not enough for me. I wanted to know Him. I wanted to know the living word which I believed was Jesus. I wasn’t satisfied with spiritual knowledge or “feelings.” I needed to know God intellectually. After some weeks I stumbled on this book called Walking with God through pain and suffering by a Christian apologist name Timothy Keller. After reading that, I came in contact with some of his other books, The reason for God, and it was a game changer for me. If you want an easy introduction to Christian theology, I think it’s a good one to start.

For me, I had to understand my pain and life through the eyes of a God who sees and knows all. I had to understand my relationship with Him and how it related to The Word. I had to let go of a lot of things I once believed. I had to explore my doubt concerning things in the bible (don’t come for me) I had to come to terms with the bible as text to lead me to God but not God. I had to accept that the bible was written by men, that there are contradictions, and that I didn’t have to accept everyone’s interpretation of it. That preachers don’t know it all. (don’t come for me) I came from a background where you don’t ask God questions, but I now believe God wants us to ask questions. Scripture tells us to seek God. How do you seek someone by simply agreeing with everything. I learned to wrestle with my belief, most times it leaves me confused, but the times it leads me to God is beautiful.

I am still developing and understanding different theologies, but I cannot tell you the delight I experience from learning about God. I am understanding that there is no perfect church and Sunday service is definitely not enough to learn about the Almighty. Nothing will ever be.

I can share some of my favorite theologians here in a future post. Are you into theology, who are your favorites?

2 thoughts on “How pain led me to theology

  1. I love what you said about knowing God intellectually and I recently got into theology as well. Almost done reading through Louis Berkhof’s Summary of Christian Doctrine and i love Tim Keller as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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