We’ve all been there. Something in life that hurts so bad and is beyond our comprehension.
The loss of a loved one from a terrible disease or an accident. A terrible situation we have to navigate and literally hope to survive with our life intact. Physical or emotional pain caused by another. A dark time, when we don’t know how long it will last or what’s on the other side, but we just know we can’t stay in this place forever. I’m sure you have your own examples.
What do we do in these times? And in particular, how do these times impact your relationship with God?
Folks respond in different ways to life’s trials. Some curl up in a ball and change nothing, holding on to their sorrow and pain like a blanket. Others get angry — and angry with God for inflicting them with this situation. Some spiral deep into despair and depression, barely clinging on to the fragile hem of life. Others take the bull by the horns and try to change the direction of the storm; they try to black out the pain or focus on something else to distract them (often only to find that they can’t let go of the thing that haunts them). And others are anchored in hope and trust — relying on God to guide them through this time.
Folks, I can’t take your hurt away. But I can tell you what has worked for me. There is no way I would have made it through the things in life without the hope I have in Christ Jesus. He is able to carry us (and our burdens) through the trouble times and the good times. He is my leaning post, and He’s never let me down. It may take a while to sort through things, but He’s been there each step of the way.
A friend recently confided in me that her teenage daughter is angry with God because her cousin died. Angry enough to turn her back on the God she’s known her entire life. She wonders how God could cause such pain. This immediately makes me think of the verse from the book of Job in the Bible:
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” ~ Job 2:10
I think that simple phrase sums up a lot about how people feel. They only want blessings from God, but aren’t willing to go through the tough times. But in tough times, do we really think we have the whole picture? We simply don’t. We have no idea why some things happen. Are we allowed to be upset and angry — to question God? Yes. (In a way that pours out the heart, but does not sin against God.)
Back to the book of Job, if you’ve ever read it, it comes across as depressing. But I encourage you to really read it. Look at this man who had everything taken from him and cries out to God from the depths of his soul. He cries out to God, and God answers. (Read chapters 38 – 42) God’s ultimate answer, “Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?” Sounds harsh, but think about it. Read these chapters and you may comprehend. Believe it or not, I really love this book.
Anyway, this blog post may not help you sort through the trials you have before you. But I have some thoughts to leave with you to help you ponder. The links lead to the full songs.
Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there’s a God who loves you,
where is He now?
Maybe, there are things you can’t see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you’ll see, you’ll see
Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
’cause the pain you’ve been feeling,
can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you’ve been feeling,
it’s just the dark before the morning
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
My friends, dare to believe that God does love you — more than you can possibly understand. He cares about you and has a plan for your life. When there appears to be no hope — when you’re in the deepest, darkest part of life — He is there with His unfailing love. May you rest in this hope and knowledge.