Monday, September 19, 2011
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" so says Ecclesiastes chapter three verse one (ASV). As a believer in God, I believe this to be a true statement, but at times, it is hard for me to understand that even the trials have a purpose. The sadness that we feel seems to overwhelm and leaves us shaken and unsure. Why?! We rail at the powers that be. "What were you thinking, Lord?"
It is in these moments of darkness, that remembered scripture creeps into my mind-- those words stored in my heart and mind for moments such as this. My mind focuses on Isaiah 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Declares the Lord.
I am reminded that I am not in control. As hard as it is for me to comprehend, I still have to keep my faith. Surely, a reason will present itself amidst the pain-- or maybe, in the aftermath, when the pain ebbs a bit.
I also recall, in memory, 2 Corinthians 3:1-5 ,which tells me that God will comfort me in my troubles, so that I will be able to comfort others when they need it. Living the Christian life is not only about victories.
Jesus himself warned us about the trials we would have in this world, in John 16:33. If we never had any problems, if our life were only about the happy times, we wouldn't be able to show the compassion we are called to give to others.
There is a whole circle of the universe thing happening here in regards to compassion and comfort: When my neighbor needs comfort because of a tragedy, I am able to comfort her first, because I feel her pain along with her, but also because I see the light at the end of the tunnel, for I've already, through the help of God and others, come out of the darkness she's still living in. Then, when my neighbor's heart is healed, she is able, in like manner, to help her co-worker who is hurting. As the cycle inevitably continues, I find myself in need of comfort again and my neighbor's co-worker is able to minister to me in a way that heals my soul.
Comfort an healing just keep going in circular fashion like that from person to person. If I never experienced pain, then I would miss the opportunity to share with and help someone else. That would really be the tragedy, right there.
Trouble must come, but we must press on, because renewal is on the way. Just as there is a time for pain, there is also a time for joy. Getting stuck in the pain prevents us from seeing the joy when it surely comes to us.
So, today I pray:
My Father, I praise you that I can draw upon the strength that I believe comes only from you. I give thanks to you even though I hurt. I confess that I have felt sorry for myself and haven't wanted to go through these feelings of sadness. I ask that you help me to understand your ways more clearly as I experience painful times. Give me words to speak, when I have none. Let us learn from this how to comfort another in their time of sadness, because we believe that it is our calling to help others as you have helped us this day. In the name of Jesus, my savior, I pray. Amen.