Spiritual Director · August 30, 2017

Devote #94

I have to be real honest with you, I don’t like pain. For example, a couple of weeks ago I had a horrific tooth ache. Ever have one of those? It’s amazing how one bad tooth can cause such tremendous pain in your entire head, raise havoc on your attitude, and make a grown man want to cry.

But that kind of pain is nothing compared to the broken heart of a parent whose child is doing all the wrong things and throwing their life away. Or a person who’s letting their addiction dictate and ruin their life. Or the person who’s lost a loved one and now finds themselves alone and afraid.

Suffering and pain are never welcome guest in any lives, yet at times we all have them stop by for a visit. So why is there suffering? And we might ask, “Where is God in our suffering and why isn’t He doing anything about it?”

Can I be honest with you again? Sometimes in our suffering, God is glorified by the way you and I lean on Him and trust Him to deliver us. There are also times God will glorify Himself by just taking the suffering away.

But what will our response be? Most often in our suffering and pain, we want immediate results. We want God to step in so we don’t lose another minute of sleep, or drop another tear. But will we persevere? Can we totally trust Him that we will get through to the other side and see the light of a new day?

I thought of that as I read Job 13. This man Job has lost everything, even his family. He’s searching for answers that seem impossible to find. He wants to understand. Not only does his heart hurt, he’s going through the trenches emotionally, spiritually and physically. But even in this he says,

“God may kill me, but still I will trust Him…” —Job 13:15

Job’s friends were barking up the wrong tree and sometimes we do as well. We want to analyze our suffering and get to the bottom of our problem. We want to know why we have to go through this? Let me be honest with you one more time. Even Godly people can suffer pain, and still be right in the middle of God’s good and perfect plans.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

I don’t know what you’re going through… how bad you hurt… or how much more you can take. What I do know is: you can still trust God. There may be times when God chooses not to heal the sick, raise the dead, or do what we plead with Him to do and it’s then we need to trust Him.

Job couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. His hurt and pain were very real. Yet he said, “I will trust Him.” So must we!

When the world comes crashing in on me… suffocating me… killing me, I will trust You. Help me Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.