What do you do when you so heavily feel the weight of the brokenness of the world bearing down on you? When you are so overwhelmed with the pain caused by sin that you feel suffocated? When your heart aches with the hurt and grief of the people around you?
How do you let it more deeply root yourself in the goodness and love and sovereignty of the Lord?
Because there are times when that last sentence up there is really hard to say. God is good. God is sovereign. God is love. I remind myself with these words but there are times when those truths are almost impossible for me to make my heart believe. I can say it to myself over and over and over again, that God is working all things together for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory. But man, sometimes my stubborn, broken heart has a hard time believing it.
Because, OH, this world is so broken. There is struggle and pain and trial and evil and grief and sometimes my heart just can’t handle its weight. Sometimes, to be perfectly honest, when everything in me is doubting the goodness in the world, my flesh is tempted to doubt the goodness of its Maker. Sometimes I ask God to shield me from it, to free me from the burden of it, to protect me from pain, to please just come back and make things right again. Oh would He come back and make things right again.
But somehow in my doubt and in my disbelief, God is showing me in stark relief the depth of His grace. Somehow in the pain and struggles, God is rooting Himself more deeply in my soul. Somehow in the grief and the plain evil in the world, God is oh so gently reminding me, “This brokenness you feel? This pain and hurt and sorrow? I feel it too.” Oh how easily I turn inward and think only of myself! How quick I am to forget that God’s heartbreak is deeper. And His love is deeper still.
He graciously tells me, “I know your heart breaks when you feel so strongly the brokenness of the world. But child, My love for people, for the world…it reaches a depth you can’t even fathom. My heart is broken to an extent that you can’t even imagine. But my grace is far-reaching and full. My love extends into dark places, of the world and of the soul.”
He feels. He knows. Oh He knows. And He cares. May I never think that He is a discompassionate God, apathetic to the struggles of man. May I never doubt that His goodness is no less present in the deepest sorrow than in the most beautiful joy. May I never doubt that His sovereignty is somehow limited by the trials and evils of the world.
Because the truth is that the anguish of our suffering pales in comparison to the beauty and grace of Jesus.
His grace abounds. Oh praise Him, grace abounds. There is grace enough for my doubting. Grace that strongly puts away my pointed finger and unfurls my clenched fists. Grace that let me cry, wipes away tears, and pulls me in close. Grace that provides an abundance of love that soothes my aching heart and somehow through the shouting thoughts in my head reminds me that there is hope.
There is hope because we have a God who draws near. A God who is the embodiment of love and truth and grace and goodness. And as we march on in our trials and settle into our grief, we learn to look to Jesus and to trust deeply, oh so deeply, in these beautiful beautiful truths.
““For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10