Sometimes we don’t understand.
We don’t understand the position we’re dealt. The deck of cards. The reason for the hurt. The lesson in the waiting. We just don’t understand. Will we ever? We may never know the exact reason for such suffering or turbulent waters rocking our boat, but we can rest on His promise that He is a loving God full of compassion and new mercies every day.
I reflect back on the last few years and many unexpected life changes that had me truly question His love and goodness. We’re sinful beings. Is there anyone that doesn’t at some time go through a hardship that is evil enough to rock you to your core, yet leave you questioning the very truth you cling to as you try to climb out of the rubble you find yourself in? I’d be lying if I didn’t say that God has placed unwanted and definitely unwelcomed tragedy in my life, but on the other side of it I can without a doubt say I am thankful for the fruit of it. I’m not exactly thankful for the situation itself and what I lost or what I endured in the moment, but I am thankful for that despair that left me searching out God once again. No matter the amount of anger, hopelessness, depression, or sadness, I have been able to use it to find His goodness even when it was lost in the darkness. The light does come. It is found once again. We just have to cling to His faithfulness, because He IS faithful.
If you’re in that place of “I don’t care what His promise is”, “I don’t want to hear it right now”, “I know what He promises, but how can He allow this to happen”, “How can He allow such gut wrenching pain and expect me to just live with it”, “Please stop telling me what I know, and just let me be sad, mad, angry, hurt”. Have hope. Right now I understand the pain is real. The suffering seems unending and all consuming. But someday it wont be.
God is going to discipline those who He loves. It doesn’t mean He is going to place us in a bubble that sees no evil. But He does promise to use every situation for good for all who love Him (Romans 8:28). He wants to discipline us out of love, He is going to pull at our heart strings and continue molding us like clay while we are sinful creatures.
God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves
God’s love is all about finding Jesus in your Hell. Finding Him when you’re in the depths of despair. Finding his light in the suffering of cancer, infertility, the loss of a child or pregnancy, the loss of a parent, the ups and downs of marriage, the darkness of depression, the seasons of friendships that come and go, the unknown of day to day, the consumption of anxiety and worry, the uncertainty of what comes next. He is in each situation and promising, PROMISING, that our suffering will not be in vain. He will use each and every fraction of our pain for bringing goodness. He doesn’t say that our pain will be removed and we wont still feel, but He will heal our hearts with his love pouring down on us if we are searching Him out.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” 1 Peter 1:8
In the seasons of my life that I was so hurt, so angry, and so drained I wasn’t searching out God. I was mad at him. I was angry and couldn’t even bring myself to pray. I questioned his goodness and faithfulness. I didn’t want to open my bible, I didn’t want to go to church, I didn’t want to pray. I felt guilty for being mad at God. If my faith was really that strong then even in the earth shattering moments shouldn’t I be clinging to God? This is where that good ol’ saying “practice what you preach” comes into play. It’s truly convicting. One of my new favorite self convicting statements, “Is your walk meeting your talk”? Hello. Guilty? Slowly I felt myself making changes to search out the Lord once again. My hurt began peeling away little by little. Even when I didn’t know what to pray I asked the Holy Spirit to pray what my heart knew but couldn’t put into words. I begged God not to let me live in resentment and bitterness anymore. I realized He is a God big enough to take on our anger. He knew my heart better than I did. He never left my side. Not when I was mad at him, not when I questioned his purpose, never.
He is a good Father who took a step back
and said “I’m here when you’re ready,
but you can’t get rid of me because I love you.”
Through the many trials I’ve endured in this life I can rest peacefully knowing that no matter what trial comes next, or what excruciating pain I may experience- there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can say this with completely meaning it because I have experienced pain I never thought I would. Pain that I used to watch others go through and be in complete loss of what to do or what to say. The infamous words we all say when someone is experiencing such heartache, “I can’t even imagine”. I look at these words in a new light. I know that God gives us what we need when we need it, before we even know we need it. If we find ourselves in a place of “moment by moment” we can catch our breath knowing He’s carrying us through it and we can rest completely in His arms while he gives us the strength to fight.