"I decided God must be cold and distant, or he expected perfection'

Judith’s story | Not needing all the answers

“Both my grandparents on my father’s side were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, and two thirds of my extended family died in concentration camps … so I always wanted to know why God allowed it. Did he look away? Did he not care about the Jews? Six million of them died!”

“I decided that God must be cold and distant, or he expected perfection.

“In 2004, I moved to Uganda to work for an aid agency. I wanted to do something about suffering. At one point, we were in Kitgum. The whole area was a human rights disaster. That’s when I met a local pastor, who was also the manager of the radio station. He was passionately committed to his local community. So when he invited me to his church, I went. There were about 800 people. I’d never seen anything like it. They seemed happy and they were singing loudly. I didn’t understand a word.

“The preacher then asked the congregation a question, and they actually responded. Some of them raised their hands or went to the front. That’s when it hit me. They knew a God who I had never encountered – a God who you could go to when you didn’t have it all figured out. I didn’t have to have the answers to my questions, or my act together. He was simply God and he wanted me to come.

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). That’s what I did, in Kitgum, Uganda.”

Judith’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Bible verse Matthew 11:28

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