So many times we long for answers. Why is there such evil in the world? Why do people kill others? Why do children have to die of cancer? There are so many questions and few answers. Faith is trusting that God loves us and wants the best for us even thought there are no answers.
There are times when we are in so much pain, whether physical, mental or both, that we cannot even begin to pray. In spite of that God can hear our cry. He knows our pain and he is with us. Remember, “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”
Sometimes life is painful. It doesn’t matter whether the pain is physical, mental or both. Pain can bring on anxiety and fear. it makes us question if there is anything that can help us. We wonder where God is or if he is there at all. But even in the darkest pain there is hope and hope comes from god. God turns us to hope and helps us learn from the pain. We are like pottery made beautiful by the fire of the kiln.
Since this is Advent what are we looking forward to….the birth of a baby….not just an ordinary baby but the most amazing gift from God…Himself. He was willing to come to earth and live among us. For me this is amazing. Who would give up heaven? This is as incredible as the resurrection. Some theologians are Resurrection Theologians. They feel that the resurrection is the most important part of Christ’s coming. Some are Incarnational Theologians. They see God coming to earth as the most important. I see it as a whole thing. His coming to earth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection are a whole. In my mind you can’t separate it out. It is indivisible.
We are waiting. Most of the time we don’t wait patiently. We want things to happen now! We are poor examples of your love but we know there is better to come. We have to wait for the goodness that on the way. Spend the time in advent looking forward to the birth of Christ. A blessed baby sent to redeem us and show us how to live each day.
Amazing God, you knew we didn’t understand you and so you sent your son. Thank you. AMEN
Psalm 27: 13-14
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
We can see God. We see him in the faces of friends and family. We see him in the little happenings of each day. We see him in the world around us. We can even see him in suffering and pain. If we pay attention we can see him. Open you eyes to see!
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
I love this Psalm. How I would love to live in the house of the Lord. How comforting it is to know that he will shelter me and set me high on a rock. Living in a hurricane zone on an island makes this promise important to me. I can see the water rising in my yard. I can feel safe knowing that I can be higher than the water for God is with me.
Caring God, thank you for your promises. AMEN
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Some prayers begin “Intimate, infinite God. God is both with us every moment and a God beyond our understanding. He is always there for us. There is always help at hand. Depend on it!
Amazing God, you are always present for us during the good and the bad. Thank you for loving us so much. AMEN
Psalm 22: 1-22
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
This Psalm is used during lent. It is a cry for help. We also cry out to God for help and we don’t always see an answer. It is one of the difficult things that Christians deal with. Why would a God who loves us so leave us to suffer? It seems that either God is not there or not answering. I wish that I had a perfect answer to this problem. I don’t but I do trust that God loves us and wants the best for us. The best may not be what we expected.
I heard about a minister who was dying with a very painful disease. Everyone was praying for him to be spared. It did not happen. What did happen is that the pain stopped and the last days of his life were blessed to be pain free. For this he thanked and praised God.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not what we asked but it always is the answer of our loving God.
God of mercy, we know you hear our prayers and love us beyond measure. Help us to not expect to know all the answers. AMEN
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
We can count on the promises that God has made. We also have to understand that there are some things he did not promise. Life will not be perfect but God did promise to be by our side through it all. His strength will be our strength. His promises are never forgotten.
Faithful God, help us to feel your strength in times of trouble. Remind us that you are faithful. AMEN