Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge & and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Unfortunately, we live in a broken world, and suffering is all too common. Tonight, somewhere in the world children will go to bed hungry. Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is being sexually assaulted. Famine and other naturally occurring disasters often strike without warning.
Not only does pain exist in the world at large, but our physical body also experiences entropy and decay. From the moment of our birth, we begin to move towards our death. Sickness, physical pain, and aging are a regular part of our experiences.
Suffering is an all too familiar part of our lives. And, most of the pain we experience will not make sense. Even though our life may not turn out the way we imagined it, we can always trust in God’s goodness and his wonderful promises.
Here are some things I know and love about God that help me face times of personal suffering:
~ God is always present with us. We might pull back from him, but he doesn’t pull back from us.
~ He isn’t moody or unpredictable. Since his nature is unchangeable, we can count on him to be the same person today and tomorrow that he was yesterday.
~ We can’t surprise or disappoint God. He completely understands our frailties and flaws. He knows our limitations and loves us anyway.
When life takes an unexpected turn, we need to learn to run to God. Just as little chicks hide under their mother’s wings, he is waiting for us with his arms reaching out to draw us into an embrace. It is from this safe place we can endure suffering.