Christians hurt. It is real hurt, about real issues. For Christians, part of our struggle during hurt is the sense of guilt about some of the things we feel about God while we hurt. We feel abandoned. We feel forgotten. We feel punished. We feel distrust. We feel bewilderment. We feel doubt. Yes, we “feel” these things. As we experience them, intense feelings emerge. And then we feel guilty about feeling these things, convinced that we’ve finally stepped out of His favor because of our lack of perseverance and strength.
I recently received a cry of help from someone I care about. As I wrote I searched for the Holy Spirit’s words because I had none. As I wrote, His words began to flow, and something that I had never considered came forth. I decided to write a blog post about it because I do feel it sincerely to be Holy Spirit inspired, and could give some comfort or perspective to some Christian who is hurting.
Here is what came forth (edited for grammar and clarity):
I’m not going to patronize you with the whole “all things happen for the good of those who love Him,” or “God is walking this road with you.” You know all that, but it doesn’t help. The fact is that life really sucks sometimes and “sometime” happens to be right now for you.
I wish, for all the people I care about, that God will immediately lift the burdens they are suffering. But, the painful fact is that for whatever reason, God permits our trials. Of course, we know that none of this is God’s fault – we are products of the failure of our first parents – the whole of creation bears it’s pain. But that hardly matters when we are hurting.
So what do we do? Do we curse God because of His permissive position regarding our suffering? Do we abandon Him because it feels like He has abandoned us? Do we just give up and let the flood overtake us – figuratively if not literally?
I am reminded of David’s struggles. While mostly self-induced, his pain was, nonetheless, quite real and quite debilitating. Yet even in his cries of frustration and anger – sometimes squarely directed at God – somehow David was able to overcome his pain and ultimately, time after time, he was able to praise God.
His praise was not because the pain was magically eradicated during his song, nor because the broken was magically restored. His praise was rooted in the knowledge that God’s love is perfect and His end-game plan was assured.
Could our comfort be so hokey as the promise of a “light at the end of a tunnel?” I struggle with that notion. That peace is found outside of my circumstances, in something that transcends my plight, is difficult to fathom. After all, doesn’t He care about every hair on my head? Isn’t He supposed to care when I hurt?
Yet, even though I may not feel like it, I know, from others too, that somehow Grace is enough – not some self-absorbed notion of Grace, but a view of Grace that binds all of humanity to the hope of being redeemed – restored to our place in His purpose.
The trials that we face, as hard as they are to endure at times, are being creatively and actively redeemed and rewoven into the fabric of a restored creation. The redeemed threads of others are bound with ours as we walk this journey together – touching one anothers’ lives with Grace.
Nothing I said makes it any easier to endure, I know. But I can only offer the hope of God’s perfect plan. I believe that all of our pain will be redeemed to help someone else in their redemptive process. One day, I pray soon, your pain will be redeemed to help someone else in their redemptive process.
I don’t know how or when the end of your tunnel will come. But, the one thing I can assure you of is that He has already empowered you with the ability to see it through to redemption.
In His grip,