I look around me and everywhere I turn there are people with so many deep hurts, so much brokenness, so much suffering. It seems that this is a season of pain for so many people that I have come to know and love. Each situation unique, each one just as painful, just as big in the eyes of those who are walking that path. No one escapes it, but it seems these are the days when we have to gather together, hold tight to those near us and pray that the glory of our Father can be revealed in the suffering we all feel. That’s the ultimate hope as a Christian isn’t it? That we learn, grow, find more strength in our maker, find a deeper faith and be able to withstand the storms while praising God. Singing loudly into the rain, drowning out the thunder, being guided by the lightning that lights the dark sky. We are starting a new series in church on suffering, and I have to say it’s one of the first times that I have eagerly anticipated a new series. Never have there been tougher times for so many people that commune within those walls.
Yet, even as I see the wounds, the scars and the tears of those around me; I also see a deeper, loving, growing and tighter community of people. People who strive to know God better, people who long to be known by not just the people around them, but by God himself. So while I hate the pain I see my friends walking through, while I hate the struggles we ourselves have walked through, I have to smile. God is working within the pain and it’s nothing short of beautiful to see.
As I spend the day in prayer for Joshua I have also had the names and faces of friends in pain coming to me. Friends who have prayed so faithfully for us, friends who now need my prayer. What an honour it is to give back in this way. I have often wondered, late in the night, how I can possibly thank people for the way they have supported us as a family and now as I watch these same people, each with pain of their own that they now carry I am blessed to know that I can now pray on their behalf.
I was listening to a song today, yet again a song by Kutless. The song talks about suffering and how in the midst of suffering we will learn to know God in the midst of it, and that we will, in those terrible times remember who He is. We will look to his character and trust Him. That’s my prayer for you, that’s my prayer for my children, that is my prayer for my church and my prayer for myself.
Then one day, when we stand face to face with the King of Kings we will all hear those treasured words ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’.