Where do you turn when the chips are down? When all seems to be unrelenting sorrow and pain? When prayers for relief go unanswered and real hope seems distant?
Hopefully, we turn to God, the author of our joy, the giver of all good things we enjoy when “times are good.” Where else could we turn? Does our fame or reputation soothe our pain? Can you purchase relief from your bank account? Not even a mountain of good deeds protects us from the sorrows that we sometimes must bear. Not even a truck load of prayer letters to God.
We ask for relief but none comes. The psalmist looked to the mountains and acknowledges his help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121) He writes of God’s faithfulness to watch over us – the same God who sees us where we are, who has written our name on the palms of his hands, who created us and knows us, who catches every tear in a bottle, who doesn’t waste pain.
He is the great compassionate God to whom we turn, who will one day heal us perfectly and completely but for now stays by us in the midst of our pain. He is the God of the mountain from which all wisdom comes, the mountain where Jesus alone is revealed as the Lord and Savior of our souls. He is the mountain of mystery and power, the giver of faith at itself can move mountains of despair.
Job knew this God and turned to him although nothing would move his mountain of pain and sorrow. In chapter 30 he writes,
6 “And now my life ebbs away;
days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones;
my gnawing pains never rest.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.”
Job, whom God loved did find instant relief from his grief and pain. Yet in his pain he also found honesty and transparency with God. In Job 13:15, he says “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”
Two words that turn around our point of view, from despair to trust and hope.
“Lord I don’t understand…and yet I will trust you.”
“Lord it hurts so much and it doesn’t go away…and yet I will praise you because your ways are higher than mine.. Thank you that you never go away, but always stay with me.”
In times of sorrow and pain and also in the celebration of life’s goodness, let’s remember to hold hands as we climbed a mountain of God from our help comes.