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Life isn’t fair…or so we often think. We see tragedies all around us—wars without end, killing of the innocents and young innocence—while evil seems to freely flourish. We struggle to have civil conversations with understanding. Disease and death stalk our loved ones. What was once considered morally and biblically wrong is often readily accepted as right. And we wonder where a loving God is among all of this.

We look for answers to life’s problems in many ways. We need comfort. We want peace. Yet, there isn’t an era during this world’s existence which hasn’t had its difficulties. I’m sure many of us have asked the age-old question, “Why?” when trouble hits. What we may not see right away when we face the hardships of life is that those situations strengthen faith in our heavenly Father. 

But I think we often forget something else. Our great God, in His wisdom, uses the problems of this world to accomplish good in us, even using our difficulty to benefit others. As Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

Though I suspect these words may seem like nice platitudes, I can think of many who have been used to bless others because of their own trials. Through our journey, God brings us to a point where we can say, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

Through our own difficulties with Ed’s loss of vision, the death of our daughter, the loss of Ed’s good health, and so much more, our faith in God was tested. Yet, in looking to Him, we found renewed strength for our journey forward. In seeking the Lord, and relying on His Word, He gives us His blanket of peace and comfort…something we are then able to share with other hurting souls from experience.

Our personal trials are meant to draw us closer to God and His word as our faith is grown with new, or renewed, strength and wisdom. We are reminded to “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

Difficulties can also point out where our heart may not be right toward God or others. Our heart may be pierced as we realize we need to work on some issues with the Lord’s guidance. Perhaps a trial prevented our headlong advance into something even more dangerous and harmful, like realizing patience in backed up traffic may have prevented our being involved in an accident up ahead. Or, maybe our hardship was meant to bring a blessing to others, to strengthen their faith, as they observe our response in the midst of problems.

In seeking our Lord when facing life’s hurdles, it seems that so often the right verse appears at just the right time. That’s not a coincidence! God gently speaks to each of us in so many ways. As I allow His words to guide me, I see the blessings and peace only He can give. 

God offers abundant love with mercy and grace in His gift of salvation. He wants to give us His peace and comfort that we might bless others. He wants to develop our character to become more like Christ, as we grow a richer, deeper and wiser faith through life’s vicarious ups and downs. So that no matter the difficulty we face, we can truly know He is with us just like He said, “…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

Where are you Lord…
Linda A. Roorda

Where are you Lord when I need you the most
When I’m all alone and no one seems to care,
When the night is long, my thoughts perplexed
When there seems no answer to unending prayer…

Where are you Lord when the pain cuts deep
Midst tragedy’s wounds and wars without end,
When wrong seems right in a world confused
When we wonder why our children are killed…

Where are you Lord when death comes early
And life is taken from innocent babes,
When the heart is stopped in a vibrant soul
Yet the world goes on with its endless prattle…

Where are you Lord when disease strikes young
When healing is elusive despite our strong faith,
When the answer is no, but yes seems so right
When we cannot see Your purpose ahead…

Where are you Lord when wrongs become rights
And simple apologies cannot be uttered,
When forgiveness is fleeting and grudges are kept
And we miss Your grace to heal wounded hearts…

Where are you Lord when disasters strike
And devastating storms destroy all we’ve built,
When we mar the earth with our selfish greed
As though we alone control our destiny…

Where are you Lord when we wrestle with life
Seeking wisdom to guide every step?
We’re desperate for answers, demanding them now
Forgetting Your Word sheds light on our path…

Where are you Lord if not in our hearts…
As You draw us close to show us the way.
For we’ll be at peace knowing You have said,
“Never will I leave. Never will I forsake.”

Originally published on my blog, Poetic Devotions.

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