When It’s Hard to See God’s Kindness

By: Julie Thompson

Is your life exactly how you imagined it would be?

For me, my life looks very different than how I envisioned it. My dream of becoming a teacher came true, but nothing else has gone according to my plan. Growing up, I thought I would get a job teaching in Northeast Ohio, live close to my family, and be married with a few kids by my late 20’s.

What does my life actually look like? I teach on the opposite side of the state and all of my family lives hundreds of miles away. At the age of 36, I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any kids. In fact, I’ve experienced years of singleness. I’ve heard some people say that singleness is a gift, but many times, it honestly has felt more like a struggle. (Check out my blog series called The Single Life.)

In Annie F. Downs’ latest book, Remember God, Annie says, “I struggle so much when my expectations of God don’t meet the reality of my current experience with life.”

Annie then goes on to explore the question, “Is God kind even when my circumstances don’t seem to reflect that?”

Have you ever wondered this?

Have you ever questioned why a kind and loving God would allow something to happen?

Have you ever wondered if God really cares about you and your situation?

In Remember God, Annie shares how her reality is different than what she expected, and she reminds us that it’s ok to express our disappointment and heartache to God. Over the past several years, this is something I’ve done a lot.

What do we do when we start to doubt if God is really kind? Annie encourages us to remember what God has done in the past. Remember how He showed His love. Remember His faithfulness.

When we remember how God has been faithful in the past, it helps us to trust that He will be faithful again.

In order to see God’s kindness, instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I’ve found it helpful to focus on what He has already given me. 

Here’s a glimpse into what that looks like in my life….

It’s been almost 10 years since my mom passed away, but God gave me 26 years with a loving and caring mother.

I’m not married yet and my family lives far away, but God has given me so many wonderful friendships.

I don’t have kids yet, but God has given me a classroom full of students to love.

I’m learning that God’s kindness doesn’t always look the way we might expect it to look, but it’s still there. 

A kind God walks with us through the heartache, losses, and disappointments of life.

A kind God surrounds us with others who will support and encourage us along the way.

A kind God doesn’t always give us what we want, but He will provide us with what we need.

A kind God sacrificed His one and only Son so that we can have eternal life.

How has God shown His kindness to you? Write it down. Record it. Draw, paint, or create something. Tell a friend or family member. Share it in the comments of this blog.​

Do something, so that when you’re struggling, you can look back and remember that God is truly kind.

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