I didn’t know the answer to that question for more than half of my life. I was terminally broken. And the pain of it all was almost more than I could bear.
I came to very brink of life. That place where I believed I could kill my pain by killing myself. I didn’t know how much LIFE and HOPE and JOY awaited me beyond the darkness that enveloped me. Until Jesus came… and pierced my darkness with His Light.
“I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” (John 8:12)
Where was God when the tragedy in Sutherland Springs exploded? Where was He when my own childhood imploded with its toxic combination of neglect and severe childhood sexual abuse?
Where is He now?
Fact 1: Suffering is real. And the Lord, although He is all-powerful, doesn’t always (usually) stop the evil choices that others (or we) make. And those evil choices have terrible consequences. But against all odds — in supernatural ways that often exceed our human capacity to grasp — He is ABLE to infuse us with HOPE and build us up with FAITH through His very great and precious Presence and Promises.
And He is not just a Promise Maker. He is The Promise Keeper.
Yes, we grieve deeply when The Unthinkable happens. But we also do not grieve as those who are without His Hope. Because we KNOW our mourning will last for a night, but will soon turn into eternal dancing. The Ultimate Dancing with the Stars. Because there is no “star” like Jesus. He is The Light of The World.
Fact #2: This present life is not all there is. And for those who know and love Jesus, the Life to Come is not only eternal… it is BETTER BY FAR than this one we will eventually leave behind… whenever, wherever and however we die.
The Place that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) The Place where “He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Fact #3: This priceless Eternal and Extraordinary Life with Jesus begins the moment we welcome Him into our heart and life. The moment we sincerely ask Him to be our Savior. And the certainty of His Unfailing Love bond with us enables us to both live Life and face Death with expectancy and anticipation.
“For… to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
Not without hardship, pain or suffering. But with Hope, Purpose and Security. Because Jesus is always with us and for us.
“I have you told these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Timeless TRUTH… come what may.
Amen! And amen! I’m so glad we have the blessed hope that springs eternal. I can’t fathom the pain these shattered families now must endure….but I know where their ultimate comfort will come from – the same place you and I received ours in our deep dark valleys:
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
Amen and Amen, dear sister! It’s in the deepest Valleys that we need that Hope the most… and in the darkness of those Valleys where the Lord’s Light shines brightest. As we shine His Light, even (especially) in the midst of our suffering, others who desperately need HOPE are drawn to Him… The Ultimate, Unfailing Hope Giver!