By Stephany Parkey
It doesn’t take long on life’s journey to come to the realization that it doesn’t always turn out how we had planned or expected. We face unforeseen challenges and sometimes even severe trials or brutal betrayal. Sometimes the hurt is so deep it takes our breath away. It is especially difficult if we know that it is affecting our children. In those moments, I have felt guilty when the thought crossed my mind, or (gasp) the words came out of my mouth, “Really, God?” However, through many difficult experiences, I have drawn great comfort in God’s word-particularly the Psalms, where the psalmists had many “really, God?” conversations with Him.
David was particularly acquainted with betrayal, sorrow, struggle, and grief; and he often expressed his emotions to God. Psalm 13 relates one of his “really, God?” moments. “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2). Really, God? But then he reminds himself of the mercy of God and the joy of His salvation. In Psalm 109, we find David lamenting over the “mouths of the wicked” and begging God to “silence their words of hatred.” When those he loves are fighting him without cause and returning evil for good, he is shattered. Really, God? But his resolve is to give himself to prayer. “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer” (Psalm 109:4).
No doubt Joseph had a few “really, God?” moments. He has these awesome dreams and then goes through years of betrayal, false accusations, and imprisonment before seeing any glimpse of his dreams being fulfilled. In the end, he accepts it all as part of God’s process when he says, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20). What about Job? We know he had some ‘really, God?’ moments. However, when he received destressing news, the scripture says he, “fell to the ground, and worshipped.” (Job 1:20). And when his own wife ridiculed him, the Bible says, “In all this, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22).
Like David, I have had many raw conversations with God. It may have been a struggle with my children, a family crisis, a wounded friendship, or a church situation. Each time I have walked away with His reassurance that He knows the way that I take; and even when I cannot see it, He is working. When I have cried out in frustration, “Really, God?” He has wrapped me with His grace and gently guided me back to a place of prayer. Prayer is truly the answer.
I teach my children during these moments that although life happens, God is faithful. When we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and it seems His promises are slipping through our fingertips, we must give ourselves unto prayer. He is our Rock, our sure foundation, our hiding place, a loving Father, whom I believe does not mind our “really God?” moments.
Note: Stephany Parkey is a gifted worship leader, musician, and speaker who brings a spirit of excellence and passion to all that she does. She serves alongside her husband, Reverend Bill Parkey, senior pastor of GraceLife Pentecostal Church in Memphis, TN. Her greatest joy is being mother to Zakery, Zarisa (and her husband Marcus), Zayne, and Zyan.