When You Feel Like You’ve Been Given Stones & Snakes

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Have you ever felt as though God has forgotten about you? Like you’ve somehow fallen to the bottom of His priority list?

If you’ve been following Jesus for a while now, I imagine you may have run up against this awful, nagging doubt.

I know I have.

Some of my lowest days have resulted from believing the hideous lie, God has forgotten about me. Sure, we’re all fallen human beings, and we expect to be let down or forgotten about by others at some point…

But to think that perhaps God has forgotten about us, His very own creation? Well, that’s an ache too deep for the soul to bear.

We can fairly easily find articles or devotions that help us trust God with the smaller problems of life… but what about when you’re truly struggling to believe not just that God is good, but that He is good to you?

In my experience, those seasons take a lot more than simplistic anecdotes or flowery sayings to lift my heart out of the pit. Maybe you can relate.

Good Gifts?

As I’ve been praying through some of my own difficult circumstances lately, this passage in Matthew leapt off the wispy pages of my Bible:

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11 NIV).

These ancient words struck my modern heart to its core. If I’m honest, sometimes it feels like I’ve been given stones and snakes in place of the good gifts for which I’ve hoped and prayed.

I wonder if you ever look at your life and feel the same?

Maybe you see cancer, chronic illness, or infertility. Perhaps it’s financial strain, marriage strain, or loneliness. And we all have the joy of living through this pandemic and the crushing fear and anxiety it throws at us daily.

When we find ourselves seated at a table with such struggles, it’s all too easy to think that God must have put us on the back burner. And then our fragile, human minds begin searching for the reason God decided to gift us snakes and stones.

It must be because I’m not lovable enough. Or good enough. Perhaps I’m not significant enough. Or [fill in the blank with any number of insidious lies the enemy tells us!]

All the wondering leads us to that most dreaded of questions… Lord, why?

Finding Light in the Darkness

If we’re honest, it’s tough to admit when we’re in a season where God feels far off, and we wonder if He truly is good. Such times of struggle used to make me wonder if my faith would recover. But in the quiet darkness of my why seasons, I found a beautiful thing to be true:

This is where faith is poised to soar.

This is the place where you and I can dig deep and lean heavy into Him. And where those remarkable “treasures of darkness” come spilling out into our lives (see Isaiah 45:3).

And in the dark, their beauty shines all the brighter.

As hard and unsettling as it is, these are the places where you and I have the divine privilege of discovering the Father on a whole new level. As He draws us in, our clouded human eyes will begin to see that He is true to His word: truly, He is a perfect Father, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him (see James 1:17).

Dear one, when your life seems scattered with circumstances you’d do anything to exchange, don’t fall for the lie that your Heavenly Father has gifted you with stones and snakes. Nothing could be further from the truth! It’s simply not in His nature.

Today, let us choose to trust His timing. Trust His plan. And trust the words of Hebrews 10:35-36 to be true:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised (NIV).

Claim this truth with me today, even if your eyes don’t see it right now. Let us walk this day in the power of His provision, clinging with all our might to the verity of His unfailing goodness.

With Grace,

Be Still

by Meredith H. Carr

Download my latest book, Be Still, about how to practice the art of stillness in the midst of turmoil.

2 Comments
  • Elisabeth Sukkot says:

    Dear Meredith
    I wholeheartedly agree with you.
    Almost 40 years ago we lost our tiny Simon (premature born)
    During a difficult pregnancy the Lord gave me the word from Isaiah 45:3
    Because of that loss (and the losses of four other children) I received a calling to work pro life for many years.
    My husband (diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome) has ALWAYS trusted the Lord to ONLY bring us good gifts:-)
    blessings
    Elisabeth, Denmark

    • Oh my goodness, friend, I am so sorry for those losses :(. How beautiful and inspiring to see how you turned it into a life of ministry in such a needed area. And what a blessing to have a partner in faith! Thank you for reading – I love knowing I have an international sister in Christ! Blessings <3

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©2020 Meredith H Carr

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