“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
I remember sitting in the tub to have my bath. The pain was overwhelming and in a moment of deep anguish I found my self beating the warm, sudsy water with my fist.
My heart felt as if it was not only broken but shattered into a million pieces. A million pieces that would never be able to be joined back together again.
That was many, many years ago. The Lord has brought me a long way since that night when my teenage heart and mind so desperately wanted to understand and have God rescue me from my situation.
Have you ever found your self there?
Spending countless hours on bended knees?
Countless hours with tears streaming down your cheeks?
Trying so hard to understand, to comprehend, even just a little bit.
Countless nights pleading with God, wanting to know WHY?
The single word question we often ask when we struggle to understand the reason for our hurt and pain. That agonizing question spoken out loudly in anguish or anger or even wrestle with quietly in our heart, when life does not make any sense.
Yes, I believe to a certain extent, we have all been there. In that place where pain and suffering have us feeling abandoned, forsaken and confused. Where we cry out in desperation for the reason behind our broken heart, our broken spirit or our broken hope.
“Everything happens for a reason”. I have heard this phrase a dozen times or more and I’m sure you have too. So, it is no wonder when faced with painful trials and difficulties, we want to know the reason for it. Searching for an explanation, especially, from God.
Why does he allow us to endure such hardship? Does God take pleasure in seeing us suffer? Does he give us promises only to forsake us when we need him most?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Not the God who loves us dearly. So much so, that He gave his only begotten Son to die for our sin, redeeming us from the curse of death and reconciling us to himself.
PAIN AND SUFFERING NOT HIS PLAN
The harsh reality is that we live in a very broken world where meaningless things happen. It is a world in which we have been given the use of our free will and our actions come with consequences, good and bad.
None of our pain and suffering – the sickness and disease, the premature death of loved ones, the natural disasters, nor the marital breakups, none of these are a part of God’s master plan. But in this sinful and broken world, many things opposes his original design. And though God has the power to intervene, often times he chooses not to and in these instances he calls us to trust him.
Yet, he feels our pain and stand with us in our suffering. He hears our cries and weep with us. He cradles us in arms of love and comfort.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Dear friends, our God is indeed a God of love and he loves us with a love we may not always comprehend. So often we believe we are suppose to understand everything. We believe that God owes us an explanation for the times when life does not turn out the way we would like or hoped. It is so true, we all want to understand.
Why did my father die when I was only 9 years old?
Why were my sisters and I taken away from our mother?
Why did your child die before he had a chance to live life?
Why did your marriage not work out?
Why did my aunt die from cancer in spite of the prayers prayed for her?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your path.
Proverb 3: 5-6
When faced with life hurts, trusting God is not always easy. Immersed in our pain and feelings of hopelessness, we are often tempted to give up, lose our faith and belief in him. Yet, it is in these very situations that we need to cling to him.
Many times, the reason behind our pain remain a mystery to us. The answer known only to God. He desires for our faith to become stronger and for us to be confident in his love for us. A faith and a love unshaken by the adversities of life no matter how painful they might be.
FOR OUR GOOD?
God has our best interest at heart. In spite of the injustices we may face or the painful circumstance we may experience, he can work all things for our good. He gets to decide what that good looks like. After all, he is God and he is reigning in supreme power and authority.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God values a relationship with us, his children. In my own life, my pain and suffering has revealed my dependence on God as my weakness is exposed and I learn to rely on his strength. It is through the most painful moments in my life journey that I have drawn closer to him. It is with the unpleasant tools of suffering and pain that God has shaped me into becoming the person he desires me to be. He is using pain and suffering for my good. For your good too.
It is through faith and prayer I am learning to trust God. It is through prayer that I stay connected to him. Pouring out my heart aches before him and receiving his comfort and his peace in return. It is by faith I am determining to trust him no matter my circumstance. It is here that I am learning to believe God beyond what I see in the natural and beyond my own understanding. Trusting him when I want to know why.
“..consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
Come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith until that glorious day when this broken world is no more.