The theme of suffering has been pretty prominent on this blog, and there’s a reason for that. In the past six months, three of my friends have lost someone close to them, and so it’s been a heavy season of walking alongside them, not always knowing what to say, but trying to be there. The most recent one (a couple weeks ago) was shocking, horrific, and unexpected. Yet I have had to repeatedly remind myself that God knew what would happen all along, and He must have a purpose in it, though we cannot see it now. It is not meaningless. I have seen how relationships have grown closer in this time, and I’ve been reminded of the brevity and fragility of life.
I look after a little one year old girl, and often when I lay her in her bed to nap she cries and cries. It’s hard to hear her cry, but I don’t usually pick her up because I know that she needs to sleep, because it is what’s best for her. There are times, however, when I know that she needs to be picked up, and so I listen outside the door, go in, and hold her, and shush her, and she quiets in my arms.
I think sometimes we forget that in our pain, God is right outside the door, attentive to our cries, ready to hold us when we cannot bear it, but knowing what is best for us in the end. And He loves us so dearly. What if instead of running away from the pain, that we ran to the arms of our Father, remembering that He is our refuge, and He is near to the brokenhearted?
From the words of Paul David Tripp:
“You and I can face the harsh realities of life in this broken world with courage and hope because we do not face them all by ourselves. Immanuel (God with us) is indeed with us in power, glory, and grace. The words of Zephaniah 3:17 ring with as much hope today as they did generations ago when they were penned: ‘ The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.’ “
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.