I’ve been talking to you. I hear you. I hear your struggle to believe. You doubt there is a God. How could He possibly be real?
The divorce. The death. The abuse. The struggle. It is real. It feels. It breathes. Not a day goes by without the constant reminder of your pain. And so you sit…stuck. “If God is real, why would He?”
And your bitterness grows.
But I ask you...Have you made God too small? Have you made Him pint-size compared to your hurt and pain, rather than allowing Him to conquer your deepest anguish?
You wrestle with wanting a god that you can control. A god who will do things your way. A “yes-god” who fits in the palm of your hand.
Nevertheless, pain is a part of the mystery of God. The reasons for pain belong to God. “The LORD our God has secrets known to no one…” (Deut. 29:29).
We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Fortunately, God does not allow us to suffer alone. Rather, He comes to meet us where we are (2 Cor. 1:3-4). There is nothing we face in this world that He himself has not experienced (see Isaiah 53:3-4). Even in the pain, God has a greater purpose.
Read the story of Ruth today, which reveals that God is at work in the worst of times. It’s a story about a foreign girl from the land of Moab who faithfully follows her widowed mother-in-law Naomi after tragically losing her own husband. Ruth commits that “Your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16) and is willing to risk the possibility of staying widowed and childless for a lifetime. She trusts and hopes in the sovereign goodness of God despite the dim outlook of her circumstances.
- We see the heart of widowed Naomi turn from bitterness to beauty in her old age.
- We watch God providently orchestrate the seemingly ordinary details of Ruth’s life: a widow with a servant’s heart, a worker in the field, a married woman once again…and at long last, a mother.
- We behold a kinsman redeemer who shows up at the perfect time.
- And stand in awe of the lineage of Jesus being formed…
All to show us that our stories connect us to someone far greater than ourselves. As a believer, your story is weaved into the story of God. Your ordinary may seem meaningless today, but in tomorrow’s light, it will be meaningful for all eternity.
What do you worry about most? What keeps you up at night? What needs to change to turn your worry into trust?