You see family members dealing with life-threatening illnesses, an economy that’s struggling, starving children in countries far away and hungry children in neighborhoods close by, terrorism that spans the political spectrum, and on and on and on. It’s a never-ending litany that threatens to suck the joy right out of life. And while God may not get as many headlines as these horrible realities, the fact of the matter is that God is hard at work in a most unexpected way in every pain-filled moment – inviting people just like you to share Jesus’ love.
God keeps loving you in spite of what you do. This amazing grace is often all that gets you through the day. So why do you so often treat others with judgment, disdain or indifference? There may be a number of excuses. But there’s no good reason. So when you are cut off in traffic, make room for the next car. Encounter a person spouting political ideas diametrically opposed to yours, say a kind word. And treated rudely, smile. It may be a challenge. But you will be paying God’s grace forward.
Babies you once held are now living their own dreams. People you assumed would always be close by have moved away. Parents who were your strength have grown frail. While you understand all these changes are simply part of God’s plan of life, you sometimes wonder whether the best is all in the past. That’s the exact moment when God’s grace enables you to discover how God has given you one of the greatest gifts possible – the wisdom to experience there is something extraordinary awaiting you in every stage of your life.
Violence is rampant, children exploited and hatred epidemic. But what may be worse is your sense that the world is spinning so out of control you feel compelled to ask, “Where is God?” The answer is clear. God is right in the middle of it all – saving, healing and planting seeds of hope. And God’s people are also there – trusting God, sharing Jesus’ love and working for God’s transformation of lives, communities and the world. So remember this whenever you wonder whether this is enough: it is. In fact, it’s more than enough.
You feel unworthy, experience deep guilt, worry about your kid’s relationship with God or struggle over a fractured relationship. This is heart pain – and it’s probably the deepest pain possible. So you pray. But nothing changes. Then you pray more. Still nothing. Until you conclude that God has abandoned you. But what if God’s already helping you, and you’re missing it because you’re more focussed on what you think God should do than receiving what God’s already doing? When you start with God, you’ll be amazed how much of your heart pain God already is healing.
God has touched you powerfully in the past when you needed it the most. But things are tough now, and you wonder where God is. That’s why it’s important to remember that the God who touched you in the past is going to do it again in the future. You won’t know when. Or how. Or what the outcome will be. But that’s okay. Just keep trusting – especially when it’s a struggle – that God is faithful and will give you just what God knows you need exactly when you need it!