May 11, 2018
Bad news, hard news, violent news. All pile up on top of our personal conflicts…and eventually, like most, we might ask, “How can God allow all this pain?” For you, a post to give you hope.
I wrapped an old jacket around me and slammed the door of my dingy apartment. At four in the morning, it was safer and easier to hit the crack dealer on the corner.
I lived in a horrible home. Satan had taken my kids, my family, my home and my job.
I lived to find enough money for the next hit. And when high on whatever I smoked, I groaned and cried at God.
Where was He? Why did He leave me? Why did He allow so much pain?
I knew that answer. I wasn’t worth Him sticking around me—a drug addict, a loser and a sinner.
He’d left me. He’d gone from my home. I traveled looking for him. From state to state I went, but never found Him. Darkness was just about to choke me; I gave one more cry even when no more breath seemed to be in me. I had lost hope. I had nothing. No apartment and no family. I wonder why I still lived.
That’s when God touched my withered soul and said, “I never left you…been right here by your side.
We’ve all been there.
Pam’s question about the absence of God is not rare or uncommon. When despair hits, we assume He’s left us. The reasons are many. Maybe it’s not addiction to crack but a crack in our heart that begs to be healed, or sin, a hypocritical comment, or harsh admonishment. Or simply, bad choices.
Whatever the reason, in our despair, God seems to be a distant, an abstract image. But He’s not. He’s alive, vibrant and active! He’s still waiting, still calling, still loving and still hoping for us to come back.
He’s hoping the child that ran away would ease back into His arms, nestle in His grace and listen to the truth: Humans are flawed, fickle, weak and often wrong. But God is forever loving, forgiving and forever our Father. He is also “…gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (Psalm 144:7-9)
That compassion touched Pam. She left her destructive ways behind. She repented. And hope filled her once again. God restored her family. She now lives to serve Christ, declaring with boldness her pain soothed, and her peace renewed.
And with the gratitude that replaced her grief, she declares this verse with conviction and confidence:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Receiving His kindness, His riches shine brighter in dark times. He may allow pain, but He gives us peace. He may allow loss, but He gives back much gain. And He may let grief in, but He says joy will follow.
Father, how many times I wondered about the reality of your presence, doubted your power and questioned your healing. Show me, Lord, that crisis doesn’t separate you from me. Devastation doesn’t end your love, nor do troubles keep you away. You are with me as I run, escape or when I sob during sleepless nights, you are with me. In Jesus’ name I thank you!
- What speaks to you I the midst of your pain?
- How do you conquer fear and doubt?
I’d love to read your answers. Please send them by replying to this post in the comment section.
Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.
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