Monthly Archives: March 2016

Are you in “the pains of childbirth?”

Easter changes everything. The resurrection of Jesus Christ established historical precedent. It also provided immense ramifications for his believers: not only a new and wonderful life after death but an abundant life right now. His gift of the Holy Spirit provides a measure of that same resurrection power in our own lives – power to live victoriously in spite of the troubles we face.

While this is true, it doesn’t always seem that way, does it? We look around and see the world in disarray, hurting and despair wherever we turn. Everything seems in a state of decay, slowing dying. Even our scientists observe that all things are bent toward entropic deterioration and decay. Whether we’re faced with crushing pain or a deep sadness over our lot in life, or whether we’re facing the pain of disease that ravishes our body, it’s sometimes hard to think that things are going to get better. It seems that we, along with the whole world, groan for resurrection. (Romans 8:19)

It looked that way on the Friday Jesus was crucified. All hopes and dreams were dashed. Jubilation was replaced by deep sorrow. Confidence lost out to fear. It was the darkest hour of all time. That was Friday. But Sunday was coming! Sunday would (and did) change everything. Sunday brought the resurrection, new life, restored hope, and renewed faith. When things looked like they could not get any worse, they suddenly became miraculously better – much better!

“The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22) Did you catch the comparison? The excruciating pains of childbirth are real but they are temporary.  Temporary pain is exchanged for the joy of new life! We understand that in the hospital labor room. But can you see this truth in the labor room of your present pains, your current sorrow, and your very real disappointments? As dark and terrifying as they seem, they are about to give birth to new light and new life, if Jesus is at work. Temporary suffering, even if it is for a lifetime, is not forever. All things will be made new. Just as the first two chapters of the bible speak to the creation of heaven and earth, the last two chapters speak of the new heaven and earth. And here we are in the middle of that magnificent story of God’s redeeming love. The resurrection power of God takes us from the pains of childbirth to the miracle of new life. We experience that restoration “on earth – as it is in heaven” when we allow God’s Spirit to renew us in the midst of our present trial.

How does thinking about your current struggles change when you consider them like the temporary pains of childbirth, about to give birth to a new, more abundant and victorious life? A life that may be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. . . Death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

LIFE is at work in you. New life in the presence of death and decay, joyful hope in the presence of current sorrows, victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. This is the abundant life Jesus offers to each of us. It’s yours, and mine, for the believing and receiving.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trading my sorrows for the joy of the Lord.

What can I do?


An attack in Brussels, a suicide bomb targeting Chrsitians in Pakistan, continuing war and genocide in Syria and throughout the world, despair even in our own land. It may be the cry of your heart: “Is there anything I can do?!”

Yes, there is. You and I can make a difference, in a world far away and also in the place we are right now. But we have to pay attention. We seldom make a difference by accident.

At the sound of an ambulance you can, as a simple man once taught me, say “Lord, have mercy.” Stuck on the highway because of an accident ahead? Again, “Lord have mercy. Provide for them according to your good purpose.”

Numbed by headlines filled with terror, we begin to make a difference by first acknowledging that these people are part of us. By recognizing that so many of our worries pale in comparison to their present terror.  Remember, our stories and theirs are woven together into the fabric of our own lives and difficulties. Don’t just skim the headlines. Linger for a moment at least, resisting the curiosities of entertaining news and take a moment to pray for those who are suffering. Some are fellow believers. All are fellow sojourners.

Does prayer make a difference? It’s a valid question. After all, we live in a world of instant gratification and response. Press a button and get something in return. Work and get paid so we can afford to rest. Even in church we’re eager to count numbers of hands raised when what matters is lives radically transformd by the power and grace of Jesus. Every leading of the Spirit begins in prayer. If not your own prayer, the prayer of someone else on your behalf, and always the prayer of Jesus himself that draws us ever closer to our Heavenly Father.

Have you noticed how very often Jesus himself “went out to pray?” Prayer releases God’s power on earth. I don’t fully understand why God chooses to work that way. Perhaps it is because prayer is not designed to be a wish list of things for God to do for you, but a faith led and heartfelt request for God to work through you. Our prayers mark our cooperation with God in accomplishing his plan.

Through your actions of kindness, your helping hand, through your generosity to invest in others lives, you also make a difference. Surrending a dollar a day from our exceeding luxuries, we change the world for a child sponsored by Compassion International. Invested in Go Light Our World (GLOW), that same dollar buys a nutritious meal delivered with the truth and love of Jesus. Through GLOW, a dollar a day pays for medicine for a family for months. Twelve dollars buys a pair of shoes for someone who has none. Or have you considered how you could use a few dollars to create a care package that is kept in your car for the next time you see a homeless person in need?

The prayers and deeds of a righteous, God-seeking person are effective and powerful – even when we don’t see the results. You understand the value of planting a tree you will never see grow to its highest heights. You comprehend the benevolence of giving without expecting return, of helping a small child or an elderly stranger. You give directions to one who is lost. Surely, you can see that prayer also has real consequences that remain unseen for now, but will one day be fully revealed. I expect countless people will come up to you in heaven, expressing thanks for some way you spoke value and hope into their lives, for sharing with them even a simple story of how God works in your life. Likewise, I expect there will be people who approach you in heaven because you prayed for them, even when you did not know their name.

Living for God means loving others. “What can I do in the face of such large scale disaster?” Pray and ask God to open your eyes to what you can do.

Walking along a distant shore


In a dream, though neither fully asleep nor fully awake, I find my present age self walking along a distant shore. Colorful seashells littered the sand, some large and grand in appearance, others small and seemingly less significant. Holding each in my hand, I gaze upon empty shells that once were full of life. As I lift each one to my ear I hear the echoes of past memories, part of who I am now and yet also a distant past. Peering into their darkness I’m surprised to see a certain light, sometimes bright and clear and other times shadowy and less distinct – all bearing witness to a life gone by. There’s no going back.

The stones on the beach likewise caught my eye. Some were jagged and rough bearing the scars of stormy waters. But so many of them, so very many, were worn soft and smooth by the continual and gentle washing of the sea of God’s love. As I pick them up, one by one, each bears its own testimony. Piled together they make an altar of remembrance of a life lived sometimes carelessly without serious intent and thankfully, other times lived ever so passionately and vibrantly. The smooth stones and the rough all laid together in a common pile.

A small boat, sufficient for only one passenger at a time, is docked nearby. Approaching it, I place one foot on the boat but keep the other on the dock. At once, I recall how many times I have been in this very same stance, as if paralyzed, wanting on the one hand the security of the shore and on the other the thrill of adventure. But the adventure always, always, begins only when I set both feet, my whole self, into the boat and allow it to be carried by the current of God’s immense and providence mercy.

And so it is is now, my whole self in the boat. And at once the boat is adrift and the shore a distant sight. No “captain of my own destiny,” I am surrendered to the course ahead, set by God himself, who knows and commands the seas. Alone in the boat, I realize why it affords passage for only one, because only one can go at a time to the next distant shore. Already I am overwhelmed by its magnificence. Sights so familiar to the best I visited before, but at the same time so much more colorful and springing with life and beauty. How is it that I am allowed to enter such a land? Only by the grace of God, only by his grace!

I could scarcely take it in when suddenly I found myself on the beach again. But not the distant beach of the future shore, nor the far away shore of the distant past. But now, how could this be, here I am again at the shoreline of my present life! Boulders of troubles remain in my sight,  but also springtime meadows and great, magnificent mountains begging to be climbed.

And people. . . so many people to welcome me and join in their festivities and share also each others woes. People who are alive now, not just memories of who we once knew. People shaped by the currents that have uniquely tumbled them here, along with me. People, God’s gift to us, each a piece of each other’s puzzle, like fragments of great seashells carefully crafted together by the master’s hand.

And so the journey continues, not in a dream, but fully awake – eyes wide open. But this is a journey of intention, not whimsical fancy or mindless distraction. It’s a path of purpose and passion guided by God’s own Spirit, and leading only to him, only to him. Ultimately, the path narrows to single file, where we can only pass one at a time. But for now, however long or short that time may be, we remain together for a common purpose to encourage many more, so many more, to follow in the steps of the ones who leads us, Jesus.

Only Jesus.


It would have been sufficient

We want more. Expect more. Strive for more.

And yet, sometimes in the quietness of our hearts we come to realize that often less is more. Less rat race, more contented joy; less worry, more peace; less obsessive control, more peaceful surrender. One thing that highlights this experience of contentment is listening to our heart express gratitude for what we have now – a loving family, a close friend, sufficient food and shelter, a job to pay the bills, a loving God who sees us where we are and comforts and strengthens us. Being thankful is an effective antidote to wanting more.

My sister shared her experience attending a Seder Dinner, celebrating the Jewish Passover. Part of this dinner included the Passover song Dayenu which celebrates the goodness and providence of God. The word “Dayenu” means “it would have been enough for us” or “it would have been sufficient.” The song recalls how God not only led his people out of Egyptian captivity but also vanquished their oppressors: ”It would have been sufficient to part the Red Sea, but you also crushed our enemy.” It goes on in thanksgiving for his guiding them in the desert, feeding them when they were hungry, and drawing them close to himself with an everlasting covenant. If God had only granted one of these miraculous gifts, it would have been enough. But he gave so much more.

I think about how God has exceedingly blessed my life well beyond my basic needs to shower me with his lavish and abundant love, even in the presence of this pervasive and aggressive cancer. How many things “would have been sufficient” and yet God blessed me with more. It would have been sufficient if God:

Forgave our sins with such undeserved mercy and left us to die in peace – and yet he gave us life everlasting.

Gave us “only” life everlasting – and yet gives us vibrant, abundant, powerful life right now.

Saved me alone – and yet blesses me with the fellowship of others.

We might have been born in a land of famine, begging for food, yet he invited us to a banquet dinner in a land of plenty.

We might be left to suffer alone in our troubles, yet he remains with us always; his strength and grace sustain us.

Paul was right. Our lives should be daily devoted – “To Him, who can do exceedingly and abundantly more than all we ask for or imagine, to Him be all honor and glory in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:18

God not only rescues us from the bondage of our oppressors, he vanquishes that which seeks to destroy us. He has split the “Red Sea” for us in providing a way out of temptation and sin. Even if this life sometimes seems like wandering in the wilderness, he provides for our daily needs, and so much more. He leads us to his holy mountain and gives us instructions that guide our lives with peace and strength and hope. It would have been sufficient if he did all this for us, but even more he gave us his very Spirit to live in us, to guide, convict and comfort us, and to teach us the way we should go when our decisions are difficult. And when our earthly lives are fully spent, he gives us more – a life forever with him and those who have gone before us. What a great reunion that will be!
It would have been sufficient to meet our daily needs – yet God provides for us the deepest desires of our hearts, to know him and enjoy his goodness forever.

May you be filled with the great and exceeding sufficiency that Jesus offers you today.

What does the resurrection mean to you today?

“He is risen.”

Three simple words. When combined they present an astounding truth that challenges us all. Jesus conquered death. He lived, he suffered and died, and also he rose from the dead to live forever. This was an historical first. There had been many great teachers, many who lived “good lives,” many role models to inspire us. But THIS was the first time that God sent someone, His very own Son, to live and die for us. And not just to die for us and for the forgiveness of our sins. But rather, Jesus died and rose from the grave.

We rejoice in what he did for us then, but does his resurrection power impact our life today? It does, because he left his very Spirit to dwell in us. Just as Jesus is one with his Heavenly Father, so his Holy Spirit is one with him and also with us. That means his same resurrection power also lives in us. It is the power to be overcomers, just as he promised. It is the power to finally trade sorrow for joy, tears for laughter, troubles for treasures, and worries for real faith that sustains us.

Because Jesus rose from the dead we who believe in him also have real hope of living beyond the grave. But not only that, to live an abundant life right now, despite the crushing circumstances that seek to overwhelm us. The resurrection of Jesus breathes new life into the crippled and dead areas of our life. His resurrection makes all things new. We become a new creation in him, not just in his death and our being crucified with him, but in his resurrected life, experienced now through the power of his Holy Spirit.

“He is risen!” And so we can rise above the mundane, troublesome, painful, and sorrowful crosses in our lives. He is risen. Let’s live risen with him, even now.


And what remains is love

“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

No doubt, we are all familiar with the great “love chapter” that Paul wrote to encourage us so we would always focus on what matters. It’s not speaking in some exotic tongue, nor prophecy that amazes, nor in great knowledge. Not even in faith that moves mountains, if it is not expressed in love. Not in giving generously to the poor or submitting our bodies to all sorts of hardship. We could have all these things and still, if we have not love, have nothing at all. Without love we are rich only in the poverty of our souls.

But love…that makes the difference!

Love, true love, is ever patient and keeps on waiting. It leads me to examine my heart today and what is my intention for expressing true,  patient love. Pure love is not accidental. It is purposefully kind, not harsh. It actively resists envy or boasting or becoming proud.  This love we seek to have and to share intentionally looks and plans and acts to lift others up, not to put others down,or ridicule or mock them.  Love honors others with great value not belittling or ignoring them. Such great love looks toward the best interests of others, not our own. It keeps us calm, not given to sudden bursts of anger. It forgives and forgets, not remembering where “the hatchet was buried.” This is the love I want to mark my life,rejoicing in truth and abhoring evil.  It is with such love that I protect those close to my heart, by trusting, hoping, and always persevering.

Great love doesn’t fail because it never ever gives up. Oh yes, though we try to deny it, everything else fails and come to an end: prophecy, fancy speech, astounding knowledge – it all comes to an end. These are pieces of our lives but not the whole, and not even close to the most important and lasting part of who we are.  When we stop thinking as children we see more clearly the real life we were meant to live – a life marked by great love.

I wonder if when we come finally to heaven if we won’t need faith because we will be at last truly united with the object of our faith, Jesus. And perhaps our hope will likewise have been fulfilled because what we have so long hoped for has been provided, being one with our Lord. Even so, the one thing that always will remain, that “greatest of these” that will last forever from earth to heaven and all time beyond, is love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12

Love is how we are made complete. Who is it that needs your love today?

Love God. Love others in his name.


Why Me? – Another perspective


Why me? Have you ever asked this question when some calamity came upon you? It’s a common question to all of us. We want to know why something happened, thinking that knowing the answer would somehow help lessen the pain and suffering or help us out of that dark place. If you research the topic of suffering in the bible you will find a number of reasons there is suffering, even undeserved suffering in this world.

Sometimes we suffer because of the mistakes we make. We control our own choices, but not the consequences of those choices. Be it drinking, smoking, drug abuse, financial squandering, wasted time, or relational abuse, we reap what we sow – just as God said.

Sometimes our suffering comes as a result of the poor choices others make, reminding us that the decisions don’t just affect us. I think of the little child who was instantly killed a couple hundred feet from where we lived in Australia, when a young man struck her while traveling too fast over a hill.

Most often we suffer as a result of a fallen world. What God created as good, man has destroyed. In his perfect Eden, people and animals and plants flourished. In our present world, everything, including cancer, progresses toward decay and suffering.

In all of this God promises to work good for those who love him and are called according to his name. In the middle of Paul’s significant struggles he proclaimed, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12  In other words, there is meaning and purpose in suffering.

God doesn’t waste pain.

God uses pain and sorrow and suffering to draw us closer to himself, to make us more tender toward one another, to teach us important life lessons, and shape into who we were meant to be.

But while we ask “Why me?” and search for answers to our suffering, I wonder if we might explore another aspect of the question”Why me?” (Thanks to brother Bruce for this perspective.)

“Why Lord, have you heaped impossible mountains of blessings upon me?

  • Life itself, consciousness beyond our chemical composition -yikes, what did I do to deserve THAT?
  • A beautiful world, nestled in a wondrous universe. Frontiers to explore with gifts of muscle and brain.
  • Creatures galore, and human creatures too, allowing an infinite variety and depth of relationships, Free will, opportunity and challenge”

Indeed, Why Me? Why have I been so blessed by the gift of friends and family? How did I come to deserve such a devoted and loving wife? Why am I allowed to live in the land named “luxury” by most everyone else in the world. Why have you made my heart tender and receptive to your love and chosen me for an eternity of undeserved joy?

Wherever we find suffering, there is blessing to be discovered also, blessing that is fueled by a thankful heart and perpetuated by sharing that same blessing with others.

We are blessed in order to bless others.

The Psalmist says:

“May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us.” Psalm 67 v 1

Why? Why is God gracious to us and bless us? 

“so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations. ” Psalm 67 v 2

We are blessed so that others may know God’s ways, that his salvation may be among all nations. In what ways are you blessed today – in order to bless those around you with the great love of God?

Living worship


What do you think of when you think about worship? Is it going to a church building where there is an organized sequence of songs, offering, and message? Is it a time for exuberant joy or quiet meditation, or both? Or does worship seem to you to be primarily a social event where friends gather? I’ve heard some say, “I can worship God as well in the woods or the beach as I can in church.” True enough, but when we are immersed in the beauty of God’s creation, is worshipping God what flows from our heart? I wonder, if we were to be very quiet and listen intently, would we be able to hear all creation worshipping God? According to the Word of God, even if we were not to worship him, the rest of his creation will continue to praise him:

All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Psalm 66:4

The heavens declare the glory of God,  the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13

The Host of heaven worships you. Nehemiah 9:6

For you will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy. Psalm 65:8

Everything God created worships him… all the time. Creation’s worship occurs without concerted effort, without worry for what time passes. It springs spontaneously from the nature of their created being. The flower blooms.The heavens declare God’s majesty and glory. Though it may be inaudible to our ears, can you perceive mountains bursting into song? Can you fathom trees clapping before God as their leaves rustle in the wind? Even inanimate rocks are able to cry out to God. (Luke 19:40) Even if no one told me about Jesus, I would have no excuse for not knowing God, because God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20  God is revealed in nature.

Nature reveals the glory of God by being what it was created to be and doing what it was created to do.

How much more should it be with us, whom he created as “very good,” whom he endowed with such incredible and sophisticated power for reasoning and communicating. If lesser beings and even rocks cry out continually to God, proclaiming the wonder of his majesty, shouldn’t we do so even more?

Have you ever wondered what it means to pray (worship) without ceasing? (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Does it mean to quit your job and abandon your family and go live in silence in a remote monastery? Or does it simply mean to be aware of and acknowledge who God is and who you are in his sight? Acknowledging God focuses on his attributes, who he is…his power and might, his wisdom and understanding, his holy and just heart, his faithfulness and his lavish love, and his amazing grace that freely falls undeservedly upon us.

We worship God continually by looking for his hand moving in the times of plenty and joy and also in the times of scarcity, sorrow, and pain. We seek him first in our problems, we thank him for revealing hidden blessings throughout our day, and we let his Spirit truly and utterly transform us and shape us into his image. We worship God by letting a conversation linger longer because God is in it. Our worship reflects the priorities we set and the goals we seek, and  how we see our lives as an extension of his magnificent and benevolent plan of redemption.

Just as nature worships and praises God, so it is our nature to worship and praise him too. May your day be filled with the wonder of God’s unending love and amazing grace.




In the classic movie, The Sting, the characters played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford ran an illegal betting operation that conned gamblers into thinking they were watching a live broadcast of a horse race, when in fact the trickster duo had it delayed – just enough so they knew the outcome of the race while the gamblers speculated.

What if you could know how things turn out? Tomorrow’s stock market closing, an impending crime that could be prevented, the outcome of a surgery before it began, or if you could be certain during the turbulent teenage years that things would indeed turn out okay.

Knowing some things brings patience, assurance and peace in the midst of anxiety, hope in the darkness of despair.  Knowing the lessons from the past, we save ourselves from making the same mistakes. Sometimes knowing things changes the future. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey turned his whole life around after seeing the future consequences of his planned choices.  What if you knew at the moment, that a simple act of compassion or a generous gift would make such a profound difference in someone’s life? Or the calamity of a poor choice that had a farther reaching grip than you imagined? But to a large degree we simply don’t know the specifics of what the future holds for us.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

You and I might have all kinds of theories about what happens after death, but God is the one who knows. And he assures us that we can know too:

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13

Knowing Jesus makes all the difference, not just knowing him for your salvation but knowing him for your victory over the troubles and challenges you face today.

Whether it be political elections, or threat of war or famine, financial disaster or climate change, we know how it all really ends. We’ve read the last chapter of Revelation, the headlines of the last newspaper ever written. They say “God wins!” We know because we know God and we know he knows.

Ponder the words of Graham Kendrick’s song, taken from Philippians 3 and consider how knowing Jesus impacts even the routine aspects of your day today. Reflect on what it means to weigh all you hold dear against the weight/importance of knowing Jesus in your moment to moment life.

“All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die.”




Waiting. Does the thought of it cause you to fidget? For most of us waiting is not an enjoyable experience. We tap our toes and thump our fingers.  We push the elevator button repeatedly, thinking that will speed things up. We honk our horn if the driver ahead didn’t step in the gas the moment the light turned green. Even fast food isn’t fast enough. We know what we want and we want it right now.

Sometimes we tire of waiting and take things into our own hands in attempt to get our way. Being “bossy” or “disrespectful” seems to look more like a justified approach, that “the end justifies the means.” And so we push harder against a door that may be closed for a reason. We might get our way, though often at a cost we didn’t intend to pay. Have you ever noticed it is easier to damage or even destroy a relationship than it is to repair one? That even when you mend something the cracks and scars still bear the painful memory of the trauma we wanted to avoid?

Sometimes our situation seems like it has gone from “full to empty” and there’s nothing we can do about it. Naomi felt that way. Her name meant “pleasant” but now she says she should be called Mara, because my life has become bitter. she knows and trusts God but the reality of sorrow and trouble pressed down on her life as they do on ours.  At times like those we find all we can do is wait. . . Wait for the storm to pass or wait for someone to rescue us in the middle of the storm. The psalmist writes:

“My soul waits in silence for God. Only from him is my salvation, my stronghold. I shall not be greatly shaken.” And still he asks God, “How long?” and concludes, “My hope is in him. Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62, selected verses)

I find it inspiring  that he pours his heart out before God in such a real way. He asks, “How long” must I suffer? How long will you wait, my God, before you rescue me? I’ve been there, and remain there now. Maybe you too have been in a waiting place where you question, How long? But what speaks to me is not only his honesty in approaching God but his response. Rather than complaining and focusing all his energy on his miserable condition, he waits in silence. He’s full of sorrow and probably disappointment, maybe a bit angry that God seems so silent. But he is not without hope. He trusts in God at all times, not just the good ones. He knows that the provident hand of God is moving in a powerful way even when it isn’t apparent at the time. He turns to God as his refuge. Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation when nothing about your suffering seemed to make sense, but to realize later that God was at working protecting you and preparing you, strengthening, and ultimately providing for you through that difficult chapter in your life. His mercy pours out over you. His strength to endure becomes your strength. His hope leads you. And you see that your God is indeed a good God, a faithful refuge and tower of strength.

I was asked to describe this reality in the short video that follows. I don’t share it for you to focus on my situation, but to encourage you to be real with God as you wait on him in your difficult struggles. Tell him your disappointment and pain. Ask him “How long?” and whatever other questions you want. And when you’re done I hope you will conclude that despite your pain and suffering,  “And yet my God, I will trust in you. My God is a good God.”

Click the link to play the video in YouTube.