by Mel McCredie
In moments of suffering and despair, we often wonder if God is really with us. Our natural response is to ask, Why me? What have I done to deserve this? But perhaps a more humbling question to consider is Why NOT me?
Is any one of us more special than our families, friends or neighbours? When tragedy strikes, our natural instinct is to look for someone to blame. We seek a sensible explanation. Yet, we live in a broken world, and sometimes there is no good answer.
Waiting on God can be profoundly difficult to do. Most of us are desperate to understand, and we look for meaning and purpose in our suffering because we think that might somehow make it more bearable. But even if we knew why, would that make it any better?
Lately, I've been grappling with questions about God and His plan for my life. I am in a season of change, and it feels as if I’m inside a shaken snow globe, with no idea where anything will land! It’s difficult, it’s confusing, and it’s painful.
Much like physical pain alerts us that something is wrong in our bodies, emotional pain indicates a different type of struggle. There is a very real danger of becoming complacent when things are going well and leaving ourselves vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks.
Opportunities for Growth
It can be scary to pray God’s will for our lives when we’re so worried about the outcome. In those moments we stop trusting Him because we think we know better. We mistakenly believe that we still have some control over our circumstances.
I’m still learning to pray for the strength to endure and embrace God’s promises rather than give in to fear. Fear is a powerful motivator, and when I let it consume my thoughts it clouds my perspective and steals my joy.
Overthinking has become my enemy. I have an innate desire to figure things out, to gain a better understanding and learn the lesson so I won’t have to repeat it. But it doesn’t work that way with God. More often than not, He doesn’t reveal the why. Instead, He calls us to trust.
God can Redeem
Some aspects of the Bible are challenging to reconcile with a loving God, and suffering is one of them. But if God is the author and finisher of our faith, then He must know something we don’t. In my darkest moments, I try to remember all the times in my life that He’s been faithful before.
The Bible promises us that God is present with us when we’re suffering. Our faith is tested and refined in the fire. But when we're going through it, we're simply in pain. And we want God to take that pain away, as quickly as possible.
I have seen God use my story to help others. I even hope that my current struggles will one day be another testament to His goodness in my life. But as I wrestle with the challenges and changes that are coming; I just want God to make it all better.
One of the great mysteries of faith is knowing that I’ve grown through my experiences, while at the same time wishing I’d never had to face them in the first place! But I also know that God’s plans and purposes are beyond my comprehension.
May I never stop heeding God’s gentle reminder to trust Him more than I trust myself.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Melinda is a writer who shares her life experiences with God on her blog, www.thedevotedlife.com She also has a self-published book. Melinda attends Gateway Baptist Church with her husband Drewe and two daughters.