As the world watches, the Visayan Islands reel in the wake of an unprecedented typhoon, life forever changed, loved ones killed, homes demolished, no food, no water, no insurance or safety nets, little hope. We see the images of violently destructive waves and wind, the depictions of grief, the staggering destruction. But you cannot photograph broken hearts. We grieve for them as we hear the stories of their great loss, and look for ways to come alongside and help.
|photo courtesy of world.time.com|
But the sorrow of the rest of the world will quickly pass, as we grow tired of news of this trouble, or distracted by other problems, long before the anguish of these islanders begins to fade. Isn’t that the way we are? Perhaps this second blow, the abandonment of the rest of the world, will be almost as great as the storm itself, as those in sorrow are left feeling utterly deserted in their trouble.
Are you feeling all alone in trouble of your own? Surrounded by a world that doesn’t understand or seem to care? When the remembrance of others is gone, God’s thoughts toward those who grieve do not fade. Whatever trouble we face, He promises we'll never be forsaken.
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
God knows that the trouble in our lives causes hurt and fear and pain. So why would He not offer to miraculously clear up every problem when we look to Him? He’s got a better idea in mind. His purposes are higher, based on a blueprint that’s preparing us not just for a good life, but for eternal life.
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will
entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 4:19
We suffer by God’s will. Can it be? According to the verse above, it’s true. Yet though He willed the suffering, He is still faithful, still worth trusting, still worth obeying. This same God planned the suffering of His only Son even before the earth was formed. (“…the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Revelation 13:8) On the cross, Jesus was abandoned by God, and as a result, we never ever have to be alone in our trouble.
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
There’s a solace despite the trouble in our world today,
because He is forever Emmanuel,
God with us.