Hope in the Midst of Suffering

This past week, our church had a tragedy happen to a family in our congregation. I won’t go into detail on it here but this is a Facebook page where if you want to find out more info you can.

When I first saw the news on Facebook, I didn’t really think twice about it. I didn’t recognize any of the names and as our church is fairly large, I just assumed that it was people who I wasn’t connected with. But then as it kept popping up on my feed from numerous folks, I finally clicked on one of the links. It turned out that even though I was not actually acquainted with the family, I did know who they were.

Several years ago at a women’s brunch, the speaker talked about how she had gone through her divorce and despite how difficult it had been and all the pain she went through, she knew that God was with her through it all. Her talk was so inspiring to me. This is because that was exactly the time when I was in the process of ending my marriage and going through my divorce Her speaking was exactly what I needed to hear. Even though we didn’t go through the same situation, just hearing someone talk about that in the church was a blessing. Though I knew that there were many divorced people in the church, no one really talked about it. To hear her testimony in front of all those women was bold, brave, and incredibly inspiring. It showed me that I wasn’t alone and that I would get through it. I knew that the timing of that could only have come from God.

I never told her how much her talk meant to me. Honestly since that day, I sort of forgot about her because of everything that went through in my life. Until last week, when I saw the news of what happened to her family. And then I remembered. What she has gone through is something no one ever wants to.

This past Sunday, our church did something that we normally don’t do. Instead of continuing his series, our pastor led our church in a time of open grieving and prayer. We were allowed to cry and mourn. We were allowed to ask God why he let things like this happen. But we also were reminded that He is in control and that we can still trust in Him even when we don’t understand why. It was honestly one of the best church services I have ever been to in my life. Like someone in my small group said, it made me know that my church is the right one for me.

One of my biggest fears is that going through a hardship alone. This Sunday showed me that it won’t happen. You may not share my faith and that’s ok. I just know for myself I am glad to be able to have a faith where I know I can have the hope and trust that when hard times happen (and they will happen) I WILL be ok.

But this isn’t about me today. I’ve been praying for this family and I hope and know that the Lord will work through this situation in ways we won’t be able to see until later. His goodness will show. His plan will happen. We shouldn’t lose hope because He is our hope.

 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

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