Tag Archive | Suffering


Dear Friends,

I don’t believe I’ve ever re-published a blog post, but I think I’ll make an exception today. I came across this one I wrote back in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak. It’s uncanny. Except for a few details, I saw that the same references I wrote then can very much apply to what we are dealing with today, only so much more:

“Media driven panic”
“A vulnerability we can’t escape”
“Science-fiction movie”
“National crisis”

Wow. Déjà vu, only 10x more.

It’s like God continues to point us back to the same basic principle already written in his word – our help comes from him alone. As I see it, this pandemic is exposing two things: First, it shows our frailty to save ourselves. Even more than that, it reveals our capacity to implode from within. Instead of coming together, there’s political agendas, media sensationalism, opportunism, powerplays, and oh boy, is there tension. Let’s not forget that everyone’s an expert too. How many conflicting reports have you read in the last month? I would guess a lot. So, the same question holds true today: In the era of skepticism, confusion seems to reign. Does anyone really know what’s going on? Who can you really trust? At any rate, here it is:


October 22, 2014

Sometimes I think it’s easier to trust God in situations that are most out of my control, because it is at those times that I simply have no other choice.

Stubborn as I am, I act like I don’t have to trust Him at ALL times anyway…it’s just that He has a way of using a crisis to remind me  of how fallible and frail we really are.

TrustFor Instance, I’ve seen a lot of uncertainty in light of this recent Ebola scare. Confidence in our protection was followed by either missteps and apologies, or media driven panic. As believers, we can’t put our trust solely on man, or as Psalm 146:3 puts it:

“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save”. (Psalm 146:3)

When things go well, we praise ourselves for ingenuity while never acknowledging the God who gave it to us in the first place. We strive to cure the predicament of a mortality and vunerability we ultimately can’t escape. I often have a sense of being trapped on Earth, lamenting as the Psalmist who cried, “Oh that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest!” (Psalm 55:6) 

Consider the elements at play in our world today. The government has technology for surveillance and a healthcare system that can be manipulated. We are assaulted by madmen in the name of Islam. There are enemies outside of us and enemies within our own bodies that have the capacity towards the exact same end. Any combination of these gone amok or in the wrong hands could easily play out like a science fiction movie…except, I believe, for the grace of God.

Notice Colossians 1:17:

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Barnes Notes on the Bible comments on this passage, saying, “The meaning is, that they are kept in the present state; their existence, order, and arrangement are continued by his power. If unsupported by him, they would fall into disorder, or sink back to nothing. “

We may not understand the calamities that do happen, but if we give up on God’s sovereignty, where does that leave us?

It leaves us with no real answers, no eternal purpose for the sufferings of this world.

It leaves us with no comfort in knowing that His mercies are new every morning, that what He allows He will bring us through.

It leaves us with the burden of anxiety and helplessness.

Call me weak, but we all trust in something whether we admit it or not. I choose to believe in the God who is trustworthy to hear and answer prayer and who has shown Himself to be faithful time after time.

Perhaps He allows those times that are most out of our control to show us He is in control, and that’s a good thing.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

Have any of you had the same thoughts or perhaps different spiritual insights during this national crisis? Have you ever had a time of hardship when you’ve had no where else  to look but up?