When my firstborn son, Matthew, was a baby, we took him to get his immunizations. When the nurse came in with the injections, she saw us holding a happy baby who smiled constantly as if he didn’t have a care in this world. Then she gave him the shot, and the look of love and happiness quickly turned into horror and pain. He looked at her as if to ask, “Why are you hurting me?” Then, he quickly turned to me as if to ask, “Why are you letting her hurt me?” He looked to me for comfort and for me to rescue him. But although I loved him dearly and wanted to protect him, I did not deliver him from the pain because in the end, I knew it was necessary for his health.
There is great liberation in confessing our suffering. Recognizing the source of emotional or physical pain can help us embrace our season of suffering, all the while connecting to the source — He knows best what is good for us and what we need to help us grow as healthier and stronger people. Staying connected to God in our sufferings helps us quiet the loud and negative voices that try to make us succumb to despair. Staying connected to God helps us find joy in the journey. It is not easy to live with a life-threatening illness, with the loss of a loved one, a failed marriage, or the breakdown of dreams and meaningful relationships. However, we are blessed beyond measure, and we need to remind ourselves of that. We have a Heavenly Father who is not ashamed to see us in our suffering.
When I look at my life and see how providence has taken me around the world, allowing me to meet amazing people who have become like family to me, I am amazed that “little me” could be so special to such a powerful and great God. It was no surprise for me to find hundreds of messages on my phone right after my surgery, most of them from abroad. Still to this day, I receive constant messages of encouragement from friends all over the world. These also, have help me stay connected to the source, regardless of my present circumstance. God is not surprised by cancer, or HIV, or violent crimes, abandonment, divorce, rejection, hate, etc. He is God, and He cares about us in the midst of our messy situations. If we stay connected to the source, we will find the strength we need to face our sorrow and pain.
A question to consider:
- Prayerfully read Romans 8:18-38. What hope does God offer us as we yield our agenda to His?