An island girl by birth, I love water. Sitting by the beach, watching the waves, taking in sunsets and sunrises – some of my favorite things to do. If you’ve never intentionally done it, try walking in the rain. Visiting a river or a waterfall and who can forget falling asleep to the sound of rain. Have you ever had a good cry in the shower as water pours over you? I don’t know about you , but I always feel better when I’m done. I don’t know what it is about water. There’s something quite soothing about it. It’s almost calming to the soul. I’m sure God moves in it in ways we haven’t yet understood.
Recently, I’ve seen videos of parts of my island nation being ravaged by flood waters. Pictures and videos of the devastation caused by the latest flood waters in Florida and other parts of the Americas have left us in awe. How could something that makes me laugh also makes me want to cry? It brings me so much pleasure and yet so much pain. This speaks to the duality of our life experiences. We are given the bitter and the sweet; the pleasure and the pain. We often struggle with this. I know I have unanswered questions. Things I just don’t understand. How about you?
The same job or career you pursued now becomes the biggest thorn in your flesh. The child or spouse you prayed for, yearned for – the one who brought you so much joy and laughter- now brings you inexplicable pain. The same wind that propels your sails, brings catastrophic storms and hurricanes – both literally and figuratively. We are often left speechless, at times numb. We try to make sense of it as we stand in divorce court, by a hospital bed or a grave site. We stand by the phone waiting for a call that never comes. On bended knees we seek the face of a God who has the answers, but appears to be silent.
We admit that life offers many pleasures. Some as simple as your child’s laughter or being able to hold your parents or spouse in your arms after a long absence. We also agree that some of our seasons of pain are self inflicted; we simply made poor choices. Then there are those that come out of left field, hitting us like a dump truck. The rug pulled from under our feet without warning. Pain from the most unexpected places. This is where we challenged with our responses. What do we do?
Job gives us a glimpse into his heart as he faced ultimate pain and loss:
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.Job 1:21-22
We were never promised easy – we were promised the presence of a faithful Father. He never leaves His wounded children alone. We guard our hearts from blaming God. So I speak to me and to you: ‘ Take courage my heart. Trust God’s Hand and His Heart. In the whirlwind of pain and confusion, remain steadfast. Never lose hope. There is pleasure on the other side of this pain.’ In the waiting we’ll begin to see this was never meant to destroy us. In patience the purpose begins to unfold.
“Listen…to the One who created you…to the one who shaped who you are. Do not fear, for I, your…Redeemer, will rescue you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, You will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you..”Isaiah 43:1-2 TPT
***Thanks for reading – Whether in pleasure or in pain, we trust.