“…You always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, ‘I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!’ So we can say with great confidence, ‘I know the Lord is for me and I will never be afraid…’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
I’ve heard this old saying from as far back as I can remember: “Into every life a little rain must fall.” I only recently learned it was penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, “The Rainy Day.” The poem says, “Thy fate is the common fate of all—into each life some rain must fall.”
We expect a little rain to fall. We’re OK with some occasional misfortune or difficulty. But, sometimes a little rain turns into a torrential flood, and one problem piles on top of another until our troubles become more than we can bear.
Sometimes, as Princess Leia said to Obi Wan Kenobi, “This is our most desperate hour.” We are grieved by the loss of a loved one. The test results have turned into a seemingly-hopeless diagnosis. Our once-thriving business has failed, forcing us into bankruptcy.
In those desperate times, we wonder, “Where is God? How could God allow this to happen to me?”
Could God make the world utopic? Yes. Could he could fix every problem, erase every tear, and relieve every pain? Of course. But if he did, we would be mindless robots. God gave us free will. We can choose whether or not to serve him. He wanted us to choose to follow him because we loved him, not because he forced us. Free will means we must have the option of choosing evil.
Adam and Eve were free to choose whether they would obey God. They chose poorly, and their choice brought disease, destitution, and death to the earth. Because people are free to choose to do evil things, bad things happen to everyone. No one is immune.
But in our times of chaos and crisis, it’s easy to wonder if God has forsaken us.It’s easy to doubt God’s love and care for us. Has God forgotten about us when we are in our most desperate hours? Has God stopped loving us? The answer is emphatically, NO!
God is present in our problems. God cares for us through our crisis. When our lives are turned upside down and we can’t see his hand, he is still there, still in control, and still surrounding us with his unfailing love.
We may not feel it him. We may not see him. But we must stand on what we know to be true: God will never abandon us. He will never forsake us. He will always be with us and he will always take what the enemy meant for evil and cause it to work for good.
Friend, I hate to say this, but everyone on earth grieves. Everyone on earth suffers. The question is not how we can avoid problems in this life. The question is this: Do we want to face our most desperate hour alone, or with God walking beside us? We have free will. We can choose. Let us choose wisely—eternity hangs in the balance.
Dear God, thank you for your presence. Even when I may not feel you, I know you are there. I know you will never abandon me. Help me be aware of your presence, even in my most desperate hour. Bring good out of my struggles. In Jesus’s name, amen.