My husband works in Southern California so I spend part of each year on the West Coast.
While shopping one day, a brief rain storm blew in and caught me off guard. As I was leaving the store, I noticed the reaction of my fellow shoppers–they stood, dumbfounded and paralyzed behind the plate glass windows unsure how to get from the shelter of the store to the shelter of their cars.
They had no idea how to walk in the rain because they didn’t expect it and they were unprepared.
For Christians, pain, loss and death can feel like a sudden storm. Often these events catch us off-guard, unprepared and we stand frozen–immobilized because we have no idea what to do.
As long as our Sunday schools, sermons and supper table conversations don’t make room for the very real experience of pain and suffering in the Christian life, we are raising a generation to believe that pain and suffering and loss are rare events and that they may very well get through life without experiencing them.
And we are leaving them vulnerable to attacks of the enemy when painful events come along.
Hurting people make us uncomfortable. It takes courage to sit with the suffering and allow them to share their pain and struggle. It requires energy and effort to enter in and help bear their burden. But when we do, we not only offer help for their wounded hearts, we are also learning things that will be useful in our own journey
That day in California I walked to my car, unfazed by the drops falling from the sky because, being an Alabama girl, I was used to the rain.
I share my story and pray that others may find comfort in their own grief and pain. Not everyone will lose a child. But everyone will face trials and testing and times of doubt.
And the only safe harbor in the storms of life is in the Person and Promise of Jesus Christ.
He alone can still the wind and waves that threaten to overwhelm us and drown our hope.
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:18-20 MSG