April 19, 2013

Set Free

What a difficult week it has been for so many people in Boston and Texas. Many hearts have been broken.  So much suffering.  To me, it feels as if God is breaking my heart into smaller and smaller pieces. Suffering has been a nearly constant companion for the past month.  Some weeks have been more intense than others.

In recent months I have been reaching outside of my comfort zone to help others. And in so doing I have discovered that God has been making me more sensitive and tender to the suffering of others.  And also, to His love.  God has been showing me that He is faithful to all His children, even when they don't have answers.

I have seen how God provides jobs, health, wisdom, endurance, courage, friends, and hope in very difficult circumstances.

And through it all I know that He is telling me, "  See how I care for those who love me?  I can and always will do the same for you but especially in your times of need. I will never leave you."

It is these words He whispers to my heart during worship at church almost every Sunday.  Many times when I'm singing I am overwhelmed by his promise.  The words speak to me deep inside and I cry.  Sometimes I have to leave the congregation and visit the ladies room until I regain control of my emotions.

I have prayed about this, I have talked to trusted advisers about this, and the conclusion I have reached is that God is working His will in my heart.  To what end I don't yet know.  But I do know that He can minister through tears.  I know that God is close to the broken hearted.

How many people carry broken hearts today and every day?  If we were privy to the suffering experienced all over the world by man, beast, and nature it would destroy us.  Who can carry that burden and not be overcome?  Only God.

As I have been reflecting I realize that it is our natural, default reaction to try and escape suffering.  We want to fix ourselves, our situations but we simply can't.  Yet even knowing this we keep trying.  Why is that? I believe the Bible gives me an answer. Just like Adam and Eve, our natural desire is to  hunger for control.  Human beings yearn to be Gods of their own little worlds.  And its frightening when something happens outside of our control to disrupt our worlds.  That is suffering.

Suffering has a way of revealing our hidden idols. 

Jesus told us that in this world we will suffer. This doesn't mean that He wants us to suffer but that it is unavoidable.  Suffering is a necessary tool He must use to help us see how dependent we really are on Him.  It reminds us of our frail humanity and how quickly life goes by. 

But God promises to set us free.  In this life He sets us free within our suffering.  When we die or when Jesus returns we will finally be set free from all suffering.  This is one more reason why death for Christians is not something to fear.

I cannot imagine the pain friends, family, and first responders are experiencing from the two tragedies this week.  But I know that God is good and that He is not oblivious or uncaring to the heart-ache people suffer.  Why did these events happen?  Only He can answer that.  Only He can see how all events fit together.

I do know how the story of this world ultimately ends.  Thankfully, mercifully God gives us the ending so that we don't lose all hope.  The dawn is coming.  The cage of suffering has already been opened.  He will show us how to fly.

Psalm 34:18

How are your present disappointments and discouragements revealing what you are depending on to make your life matter in your eyes?  What or who makes you feel validated? How can God help you remove anything or anyone that may be replacing Him? 


Denise said...

Lovely post.

Brenda said...

beautiful post Sincerity,
in the world we have tribulation, in Jesus we have peace. May all who are suffering find peace in Him.

Frank Blasi said...

The Boston Marathon bombing, along with 9/11 and natural disasters like the Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 show what a fallen world we live in, as a result of sin.
We can thank the Lord for his grace and mercy in which he will, in his own time, restore the whole Universe to its former glory, but in the meantime allow the love of Christ flow from our hearts in compassionate acts towards those who are suffering.
An excellent post.

BelovedBomber said...

I am reminded of the idol of Dagon falling down when the Ark of the Lord was brought in. In God's presence idols fall and darkness flees. We have to run to His secret place where He will provide all we are in need of...for us and His children around the world. No matter what happens here, we have the hope of eternity :)


Denise: I'm happy this post encouraged you.

Brenda: Amen. Amen.

Frank Blasi: Its amazing how much sin has destroyed our universe. But as you stated, God will one day restore everything. What a glorious day that will be!


BelovedBomber: " In God's presence idols fall and darkness flees." It amazes me that even though God could do all the good that happens in our world by Himself He still chooses to do it through His children.

Even though life can hurt so badly it is still a privilege to serve Him.
Blessings to you.

T-Childs said...

'How many people carry broken hearts today and every day?' Probably mst of us, for one reason or another, but it's only through leaning on Jesus that we make any sense of it and that even the worst things can have meaning if we approach them in the right spirit. No one likes to suffer, but we all do sometimes; such is life.


T-Childs: If only everyone could just see outside of themselves and have their eyes open to the pain of others.

Jesus is absolutely right. Love in all its forms; forgiveness, honesty, patience, endurance, far exceeds the most putrid hate.

How extraordinary is the heart of God! Love of that caliber can never be replicated without His help.