Tonight I had a phone call from some dear friends. It made me wonder where some people get the strength to deal with days like they had today...although in their case I know where it comes from and I so admire their faith.
This morning they were involved in a meeting that turned into an attempt at a hostile takeover of the organization they are involved with. It came out of the blue and shook them up badly. Now they have to decide how they can counteract.
They came home to the news that "her" sister has been diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer...shockingly aggressive........that requires immediate and radical surgery. The woman has a husband who also has severe health issues and cannot manage on his own. They live far away from family and support systems. What a worry for my friend and the rest of the family.
A few hours later "he" received word that his brother in law was in a terrible accident and is in hospital, broken in body, long term prognosis unknown.
They had the kind of day we all dread....that series of devastating events that push our emotions to the limit.
I know these people fairly well. They have strong faith in God. They will be available to help their families and associates. They will push through their own health issues and emotional pain to do what they need to do to help the others involved.
Watching my friends walking in faith that somehow God will give grace and strength in the midst of devastating days gives me renewed faith for my own walk with God. Whatever uncertainties and tragedies we experience, He is always there.
He doesn't remove us from the human experience but he stays with us and guides us through. Jesus experienced the deepest of griefs and suffering and he doesn't want to remove his people from too many of the opportunities to share in his suffering. God allows us to experience these most human of experiences, but he has sent us the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to give us the strength to endure the material disasters and overcome the emotional trauma. Sometimes it can be a long journey and we cheapen the chance to learn more about his ability to help us and about what he experienced in his human body for our sake, when we assume there is something faithless in intense, ongoing emotional responses to the negative experiences in life...when we feel some kind of peer induced obligation to "positive self-talk" our way back into emotional stability before we are really there and assume we are healed simply because we decided it isn't a good "testimony" to be too slow about it.
I don't have a lot of angst over the idea that human beings suffer. While it is never easy to accept suffering, we are not alone. God Himself chose to suffer through an earthly incarnation. His suffering was as unjust by most human standards as any we also go through in life. He's been there. He understands. That's why I trust him.