There may be a worse feeling, but I believe one of the absolute worst feelings is watching one of your children go through pain and suffering; it doesn’t matter if it’s physical, emotional or mental.
Life is a war zone. And we are quite possibly our own worst enemy.
Today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Out of a blue-sky day came pain so corrupt that it forever changed the way we look at life. That’s what evil and pain does in our personal lives as well. It strikes “out of the blue,” many times without warning. And we are left with only one question.
How do you explain…to yourself…or to anyone else for that matter…why must we endure pain? Why must we endure suffering?
I got nuthin’.
And that is the point. A wise man (Dave Cover) said this morning, Trust is not the absence of doubt. We will always have doubts. Doubts about decisions we make; decisions we don’t make; decisions we should have made; decisions we shouldn’t have made. Doubts about the future. Doubts about our own mental or emotional capabilities. When we trust in our own understanding of a situation; we completely miss the bigger picture.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Pain and suffering are always stumbling blocks, even for those of great faith. It run so totally counter intuitive to what we think God should do for us. After all, what parent looks forward to disciplining their child? What parent wants to make them struggle? But we do. Because we see the bigger picture.
We think we can replace God’s wisdom with our own…not accepting that our wisdom, most of the time, is flawed beyond repair. We are our own mind’s worst enemy.
When we replace God’s wisdom with our own, the result is a decent into places angels may fear to tread. Our souls become dark and closed. When we rely only on ourselves during times of pain and suffering, we usually find our lives continue to spiral, with no clear direction.
Tim Keller, one of my favorite authors, compares trust to falling off a cliff. As you’re falling, you see a branch sticking out of the rocks that you could grab to break your fall. Your mind doubts that it’s strong enough to stop your fall, but you’ll probably grab for it anyway, hoping and trusting it will save you.
Trust is not the absence of doubt.
It’s not the quality of your faith that gets you through a crisis. It’s the quality of what you have faith in. (More wisdom from Dave Cover).
So the only comfort I can offer is this:
Are you trusting in God or your own reasoning when pain and suffering strike out of the blue?
Do you trust God less when pain and suffering strike, with or without explanation?
Do you trust that the pain you feel right now is something God is using to draw you closer to Him? Or back to His wisdom for your life?
If you know me, you know I don’t believe in coincidence. On my way to worship this morning, a song I’ve never heard came on the radio. It imprinted on my brain. That, with today’s message, was exactly what I needed to hear today.
A message to help me while those I love are hurting. A message I hope I can give to them to ease some of the hurt.
I found the song on youtube so I want to share it with you.