Our Lord is so gracious to us. We’re nothing more than poor wretched souls, wayward in our desires, inward in our passions, loving the world, others, and self more than we love Him, the Maker and Giver of life. He is patient with us far beyond anything we should expect from One so mighty, but He continues on because He is Love, He is Mercy, He is gentleness manifested. His mercy is new every morning, even on those mornings that we have trouble seeing it.
Sometimes, in a believer’s life, everything and then more will go wrong. We get on pathway from which there is no return, no U-turns, no undoing the damage constantly being done. Sometimes when we’re on such a pathway, praying, trying, doing all that we can do and more to the end of our strength, our faith can waver. It can, but it shouldn’t. The One who died for us is also the One who said He would never leave us nor forsake us–even when we are on the darkest of paths, even when we wander through desert places, even in the midst of stormy seas, He is there, loving us, protecting us, guiding us. Even when we do not see Him.
This I know, and I know it well. I know it because the Word of God tells me, and you, so. God’s Word can never fail and He who wrote it never fails, either. He is always constant and true. But I also know it on a personal level. I’ve seen God act in the midst of my fears, in the hardest of trials, in the darkest of nights, and during those times I’ve felt His comfort, experienced His healing love, seen His hand of goodness guiding, saving, and providing. Sometimes His provision isn’t actually what we seek or desire. Sometimes, in fact, in our humanness, it is the exact opposite of what we would want. We want sunny days, God provides the darkest of nights. We want a smooth pathway, God provides a stony overgrown trail. We want friends, family, fellow Christians who will love us, God provides a family such as Joseph’s and friends such as Judas. Yet, we should trust Him, for He always knows best.
Sometimes we must move out of the academic, away from what we believe to living out what we believe, to embracing our beliefs, letting them define us, even in the darkest of nights. Over the last decade, my family has known many an overgrown trail, many a dark night, much betrayal, much sorrow, and so many heart breaks that they truly aren’t calculable. Recently, we’ve entered another time of trial, one that has the potential to cause much more sorrow. Things went wrong, then another, and another, and to top it all, we’re accused by some we love of failing to act. They don’t know the endless prayers, the desperate-to-the-end-of-our-strength-effort, the trying when we were far too tired to try. But the Lord knows, and somehow, someway, He will see us through. He will either provide or He will be our Provision through times of deep want. He will be glorified by our struggles through strengthening our faith or He will be glorified as He acts wondrously to do what we cannot do ourselves. Even if the worst happens, He is worthy. So I will praise Him and, if you are in a time of deep sorrow, I encourage you to consider His innate worthiness and praise Him.
Soli Deo gloria!