Today:

    The last 24 hours or so have been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’ll start with the good and the move to the bad.

    The good was that yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) KTOK (OKC’s main AM talk radio station) picked up a story that I broke in a letter to the editor to this week’s Oklahoma Gazette (I’ll post the whole story on this later today on the Poliblog.) It was very cool that the story got picked up, and even cooler that it was the lead story. — It was also a good day yesterday weatherwise. It was in the high 60’s-low 70’s here in OKC, so I had a glorious time in the afternoon bicycling.

    At the same time it has been a difficult time as well. I have really been struggling with my faith again, particularly in wrestling with the subject of suffering. It seems to be a recurring theme in my life (not that I have been suffering… actually I have been incredibly fortunate in the relative ease of my life of late) but rather in the lives of others that I care about. In my church family, we have had several folks who have had absolutely terrible things happen to them and their families’ lately, and one of my closest of friends has had a horrible time of it lately.

    Last night (Tuesday) these things were pressing on my mind a lot when driving home from work at 11pm, so I started praying. As I talked to God I frankly felt very unsatisfied about these circumstances, particularly in one situation a friend has been dealing with.

    As I prayed about it, I started thinking about the book of Job in the Bible, but the more I thought about it that made me mad too. Job was totally dumped on, it seems to me. He was faithful to God, yet he has his entire family, property and health taken away because God wants to prove something to the Devil. (that’s how it seems to me)

    That just seems wrong to me. I know the intellectual arguments for what is going on in Job, but they do not satisfy my own heart. It seems like Job is just a pawn that God and Satan are both trying to use for their own purposes. Certainly in the end, Job is “rewarded” in the end with new children and more property than he had before, but really does that really make things right? Can you really “replace” children who die?

    I don’t know. At one point I think how can I really believe in a god who acts this way, yet at the same time I can’t imagine a world without God. Despite the ugliness, despite the bone-crushing suffering there is still good in this world. There is still beauty. I can’t give up on Godd, yet I find it hard to begin to understand what he is up to.

    Anyway, by the time I finished the commute back to Newcastle I wasn’t at peace about it particularly but I guess I at least expressed it all to God, and went to bed pretty fast.

    What was strange though was that last night in my dreams I was crying. That is all I remember from the dream was crying. I have no memory of what I was crying about, only that it was in someway tied to what I had been praying about the night before. And here is what is wierd, when I woke up I realized that I actually had been crying in my sleep, which is very odd in that I am not the kind of person who cries easily when awake.

    Now today (Wednesday), I do have hope in a way but also have some huge doubts. I do believe that God answers prayers yet it bothers me that He seems to be so capricious about whether and how He answers those prayers.