This week has left me speechless. Our world–near and far– is so horribly broken. Sickness, death, war, and trauma abound. None of us can say we have never hurt deeply. We are all very, very broken, and we all need a Savior.
As a mother, I adore my son. He is precious to me, and I enjoy him simply because he is mine. Like most children, he has days that make me want to pull my hair out. Some days I fight him tooth-and-nail to listen and obey, and to understand that I love him and want good things for him.. Some days I just want to cry from sheer frustration when his strong will and my own collide.
But no matter the day we had, if my son wakes up in the middle of the night crying because he is scared, I go to him. It doesn’t matter how frustrated I may have felt during the day. I love him fiercely, and I don’t want him to be scared. I want him to trust that I will be there when he needs me. I want him to know he is safe, loved, and that I am with him. I can’t make the sun come up, but I can be with him in the darkness.
I have to believe that God feels even stronger about us. We are pitiful, sinful beings that often distrust the God that loves us and wants good things for us. And yet He loves us with an everlasting love. In spite of our sin, our shame, and our guilt, He has has come to us in the middle of our nightmare and rescued us.
We are not alone in the darkness; our God is with us. He doesn’t always immediately take away the pain, but the morning will come. Until then, we are not alone.
About ten years ago, I was in the middle of one of the most difficult seasons of my life thus far. I was struggling with how a good God would allow me to suffer seemingly alone. Why would I want to follow a God that left me in the darkness? But my world was radically changed when God showed me what He has to say about:
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 16 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “You will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ (Hosea 2:14-16)
The Lord allows us to experience difficult, trying times not to show himself as a God that will beat us into submission, but rather to show the intimate nature of His love and compassion towards us in spite of ourselves.
It is easy in the darkest times to believe the lie that God no longer cares, that He has forsaken us, that He doesn’t love us. It is easy to believe that we are being punished. In that hard season of my life, I believed I would never be better, and I would be left to rot in the wilderness. But that season is now one of the fondest of my spiritual life because I look back and see God’s goodness, tenderness, and kindness to me in the midst of my doubts, fears, and brokenness.
God loves us fiercely. He is with us in the desert to show us His heart; to show us that when all is lost, He is constant.
Maybe you are suffering tremendously. Look to Him. He has come for us like a good father goes to his child. He loves us with a radical love that changes us. He is able to take the Valley of Achor (the valley of trouble) and make it a doorway of hope.
How have you seen God move through tragedy and pain in your own life?
If you are like me, you enjoy a good song that speaks into the heart of an issue. Here are a few I encourage you to check out:
“The Cure for Pain” by Jon Foreman
“After All (Not for a Moment)” by Meredith Andrews
“Crushed and Created” by Caitlyn Smith
“If You Want Me To” by Ginny OwensaloneFaithGodgriefhealingpainproblemssorrowtrouble