The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
My Mom Is Sick And I Feel Like God Has Abandoned Me

Anonymous asked:
Hi Jed I love your blog! I’ll get straight into it. I’m struggling with a love/hate feeling towards God. My mum has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and is having surgery next week & I’m honestly feeling very angry with Him. I don’t understand why He would do this. I prayed and basically begged that she be ok but now it’s grown and she has to have brain surgery. I feel like He abandoned me when I cried for help and I’m worried He will do it again and she won’t survive. Help please..

Jed Brewer replied:

My friend,

I am so sorry.  I’m so sorry for your pain.  I’m so sorry that your Mom is going through this.  And I’m so sorry for the sense of abandonment that you are very understandably feeling.

If we lived near you, my wife and I would love nothing more than to just give you a great big hug and sit and cry with you and bring over a casserole.

The truth is, I can’t tell you why God allows terrible things to happen.  As a friend says, I don’t get invited to those meetings.  I can tell you about how God brings – when we let him – the best of things out of the worst of things.  I can tell you that God uses our lowest points to shape us into the people we were always meant to be.  But I can’t tell you why he uses suffering, and not something else.

But I can tell you that Jesus went first.  And he understands.  He knows what it is to have a loved one be sick.  And he knows what it is to have a loved one die.  And he knows what it is to cry bitter tears about it.  (You can read the story in John 11.)

For me, I take comfort in knowing that Jesus chose to go through what I have to go through, because he loves me.  And Jesus experienced something awesome – anger.  When Jesus saw his friends weeping, he felt anger.  I think he was angry at all the suffering and pain and misery in this world.  He was angry, and then he cried.

I love the fact that Jesus got angry.  Because this world makes me angry, too.  It’s terrible suffering and hateful indifference are wicked things.  And my savior got angry, and then he made it right. 

Jesus is in the process of making the wrong things right.  All of them.  Every terrible thing that has ever happened, he is, even now, in the process of making it right again.  I don’t know how.  And I know I’ll only see the full picture in eternity, but I know my savior is making it right.  I know he’s preparing a place for me where there’s no more suffering or pain, where he himself wipes every tear from my eye.  (Revelation 21:4)

This brings us back to you.  God has not abandoned you, my friend.  But it certainly feels like he has.  And He gets that.  He understands how you feel.  And he cries with you; I promise. 

So what do you do?  I tell you what I’d do.  I’d pour my heart out to him.  I’d vent all my anger and frustration out to him.  I’d yell and scream till I was hoarse and then I’d cry.  And then, when I had nothing left to say, I’d be still, and let my Father whisper to me, “I understand.  I love you, I understand, and this, too, I am going to make right.”

How Do I Help A Friend With Cancer?

aanunexpectedoccasion asked you:
I recently found out my friend has a lump in his brain & cancer has been mentioned. The only thing is, is that no one is supposed to know, as he has only confided in one friend. My friend thought the right thing to do was to tell a few friends so we could pray for him. We are beginning to feel he is becoming depressed, & as he is atheist a lot of negative thoughts must be going through his head right now. He’s not really 1 to talk about his feelings, & tends to bottle up his feelings through jokes. I think he feels he always has to be the happy, funny guy he is known for. The whole point to this question is that i was wondering if you could give me any advice, in which to encourage him and possibly bring him to God, i just want him to know he is not alone and all of his friends and God are there for him. Thanks Jed :) x

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Afiya,

Well, first of all, I’m sorry to hear that your friend is sick.  I am praying for him, and everyone who reads this post is going to take a moment to pray for your friend right now, and then click “Like” so you can know that people all over the world are praying for him.

OK, then, what next?

Well, in terms of whether to confront the fact that you know he’s sick, it really depends on the kind of dude he is.  If you go up to him and say, “I know you’re sick, bro, so, tell me what we’re looking at,” there are some people who would be relieved by that, and there are some who would be pissed off.  You’d know better than me which camp your friend falls in.  And, of course, that’s the kind of thing that’s worth praying about.

But, either way, in the near future, your friend’s illness will be impossible for him to hide anyway.  Most treatments they would give him will cause him to lose his hair.  If they perform surgery, they will shave his head.  It’s likely, due to a number of factors, that he’ll experience significant weight loss.  And, of course, he’ll be spending a lot of time at the hospital.  He can’t really play that off, so, that will lead us to the inevitable point of, “I know you’re sick, bro, so, tell me what we’re looking at.”

In terms of how to be there for him in that moment, I think you just put that out there.  You say, “Bro, I love you, and I’m here for you.”  And then you start living that out.  That may mean going and picking up groceries.  That may mean retrieving assignments from school.  That may mean doing some laundry.  And that certainly does mean making it clear that you are a safe place to share how he’s feeling – that he doesn’t have to be the funny guy with you.  He can be the scared guy, or the angry guy, or the depressed guy, and any of that is OK.

In terms of pointing him to the Lord, all of the above comes first.  This is what we call “earning the right to be heard.”  If your friend doesn’t have conclusive proof that you love him and are willing to go to bat for him, then you don’t have the right to tell him anything about God.

But, as you live out the love that you have for him, I think what you’re likely to find is that he will bring up matters of spiritual importance.  In his own words, I bet he’s likely to wonder about the universe, his place in it, and what life means.

In that moment, with gentleness and respect, you simply share what’s worked for you in response to those same questions.  “You know, bro, for me, the idea that there is a God who knows me and loves me, and is bigger than me, that this world ain’t all there is, that I’ve got a full on reservation in Heaven, that gives me the strength to get out of bed in the morning.”

And then, sis, you trust God to work in your friend’s heart.  God loves your friend more than you or I can imagine, and He is drawing your friend to himself, even right now.