Her story was a tough one. She needed help!
She had lost her husband years back. She had three children—one with special needs, one “typical,” and one who went to heaven shortly after birth. She was aging, endured chronic pain, and had just been diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer. She was facing radical surgery, rounds of chemo, and an uncertain future.
Torrents of tears gushed from her eyes. After a few moments of silence, she simply asked: What now?
Her soul was pliable, softened by trials and receptive to God’s grace.
Her story may be yours.
For all of us, pain and loss cause us to ask the questions: What now? Why did this happen? Will I ever be happy again? I have asked these and other questions myself.
It may comfort you to know that God is okay with our questions.
He longs to embrace us as we fumble through, trying to make sense of what has hurt us so deeply. And at times, life won’t make sense.
- The reasons for much of the pain in our lives will always remain mysterious.
- We are broken, and we live in a broken world.
- We cannot always understand the reasons for suffering because we are not God.
- We don’t have the ability to know and see as He does.
From Questions to Quietness
Throughout Scripture, many faithful men and women asked God tough questions—King David, Job, Elijah, Paul, Joseph, Thomas, Habakkuk, and more. But when pain exists, answers to our questions will not satisfy our deepest longing.
We ask questions when we don’t like what has happened or when we don’t want to endure something that seems unfair. We ask because we think we’re entitled to an answer. But God doesn’t promise to answer all of our questions.
In order for us to find peace, we must open our hands and accept what comes our way as part of God’s plan, even though we may never understand. We must surrender to God, our heavenly Father and creator.
When we find ourselves frustrated by unanswered questions, we must remember that it helps to repeat the words “He is God, and I am not” over and over again.
Moving to a Place of Peace
So how does one move into that place of peaceful quietness in the midst of suffering? Here are six practices that have helped me:
- going to the Lord with open hands
- forgiving those who have hurt me
- letting go of my expectations
- learning to thank Him for what He has provided
- seeking truth in His Word
- spending time in prayer
He is God, and we are not.
Let Me Hear from You
Maybe you have found other ways to experience God’s peace in times of suffering. I invite you to leave a comment as your words will be of encouragement to others.
You can leave a comment by clicking here.
- Glimpses of Grace: 30 Reflections on Old Testament Lives, by Insight for Living
- Providence Made Practical, a message by Charles R. Swindoll