Where are God and His People? {When We Suffer}

Responding to emails. Grading papers.

That’s yesterday afternoon in a nutshell.  Until…beautiful words of love and encouragement began pouring through text and Facebook messages, a phone call, and blog comments in response to yesterday’s post.

God loves you and your children are amazing kids because of God.

Please know that I will cover you all in my prayers.

I have no doubt that God will be carrying you through this valley to brighter days.

I know you have a lot of people who are there for you, but if you ever need another…know I am here.

If you need anything – any help with the kids – let me know (again and again)

When I get home tonight we will decide if we will continue on or he will ask for a divorce and we will tell our children.  The timeliness of your blog post isn’t lost on me.  God is a gracious Father that way.

God is so good and I choose to trust Him.

I promise to pray for you…you’re in my prayers…praying (These words in some form over and over.)

I know the heartbreak all too well, and I hate this for you.

We serve a mighty, mighty God, and I can tell you that I know brighter days are ahead

I love you, love you, much love (over and over)

As a child of divorce myself, I can tell you that your kids will be so, so fine.

I got a divorce after 21 years…I knew that I had no control, so I finally gave in all to Him and went along for the ride.  He delivered our family…

I wish I could give you a great big hug.

To say “hang in there” is not enough, but hang on to God. 

Our God will hold you close…

I could go on…so many heartfelt words.  And, I know: These aren’t empty words.  These people mean…call me and I will be there.

If I ever doubted what the “church” is or if it’s still alive and well, I no longer doubt.  While the “church” that showed up yesterday wasn’t exactly who I expected or in exactly the way I might have imagined, it was indeed the “church.”

And I am beyond grateful.  Speechless.  Humbled. 

These precious women took time to share words of encouragement and  snippets of their very personal stories – all to encourage me. To provide evidence of God’s redeeming work in each of their lives.  To give me hope, my children hope, and my husband hope.  To pray and love in the midst of busy, stressful lives.

That can only be Jesus.

That can only be a sovereign God working all things together for good.

And I am beyond grateful.  Speechless.  Humbled.

For each phone call, comment, message, and text.  Your reminders of who I am, who He is, and who the church is has given me a peace and hope that passes all understanding.

Thank you.

And if the Christ followers being the church weren’t enough…my God is making himself known in every crack and crevice of today.

I regularly read three, short devotionals each morning. These are excerpts from today’s devotionals…amazing.

Leave outcomes up to Me. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure with Me as your Guide and Companion…You already know the ultimate destination of your journey:  your entrance into heaven. From Jesus Calling

The outcome isn’t up to me. I can be faithful, but I can’t control.  With my entire life up in the air, I follow Him knowing my destination is heaven – and nothing else.

Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again. (Psalm 71:20)  Never doubt God. Never day that he has forsaken or forgotten you or think that He is unsympathetic.  He “will restore [your] life again.”  From Streams in the Desert

Never doubt God. He will restore life again.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in Him. (1 John 3: 14-15)  This portion of your Word puts all my hating into perspective.  I’m sobered by the warning concerning the hatred of people – especially hating my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

 Holy Spirit, I ask you to examine my heart and quicken my memory.  Who are the people toward whom I have feelings of hatred?  Though I may have never spoken the violent words “I hate you” to their face, nevertheless I have committed murder in my heart.  I’ve relished their reversals, dreamed of their demise, and longed for their languishing.  

Big disappointments and painful betrayals are common in life, even by the hands of those with whom we share life in Christ.  Some of us have been egregiously violated and seriously abused, too often by those we were trained to trust.  But when our real hurt grows to retaliatory anger and our anger morphs into spiteful hatred, arrest our hearts, Lord.  Let me see the ways I become the very thing I hate.  Bring us back to gospel sanity, sooner rather than later. 

Vengeance belongs to you, not us, Father.  Even as you are a God of mercy, you are also a God of justice.  We can trust you for both.  You do all things well, in your timing, for your glory, and for our good.  From Everyday Prayers

I probably don’t need to explain how this passage spoke to me – sadly.  Dreamed of their demise.  Yes, I’ve done that. Retaliatory anger.  Yes, I have felt it and even slung angry, ugly words.  [Insert big, regretful sigh here.]  I pray…arrest my heart, Lord.  Let me see the ways I become the very thing I hate.

Wherever you sit – whatever your pain – whatever is unfair  – however you feel left out or unloved by God’s people – whatever your betrayal, your sin – whatever you can’t control…God is near to you and to your situation.  He doesn’t leave or forsake.

draw near to god printable

Comments

  1. Prayers…. It’s wonderful to see an amazing support system reach out to you! God has got this! {hug}

    • Thanks for the reminder, Cheryl. yes, he has this…it may not look like I think it should, but He’s definitely up to something:)

  2. Love you Sarah.

    • Love you too, Friend. Thanks for the phone call and offers of dinner and babysitting. It means so much (and I plan to take you up on both 😉

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