Stuff will always tick us off. We will miss the yellow light, shatter a plate on the floor, get depressed, watch helplessly as a family member goes through a painful trial, and experience challenges we don’t know how to overcome ourselves.
Get angry with God. David did. Wonder if anything will ever change. Question yourself and your circumstances. Question the outcome. Fine. But if you want to have what you need to get through any trial; never ever forget these 2 things about God.
1. Always trust God’s intention
Remember the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years? That trip should have only taken days! That was some serious difficulty. Here’s why:
Exodus 13:17-18 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
God knew their hearts, their past, their future. He really had in mind what was good for them. Why, because, God. Is. Good. If you find yourself questioning God’s intentions*, “is He really good, does He really care, does He really care about me?”
That is a slope you will slide down and slide down fast. You were created by a loving, GOOD God. He is FOR you. Even in the broken circumstances, God is Good. Hold onto that truth above any other.
2. Always know that God is present
The Israelites put one foot after the other, down the long difficult road. It was going to be tougher than they could imagine. It was not what they would have chosen for themselves. Look at what happened:
Exodus 13:21-22 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
God promises His presence to His people; at all times. Jesus says He will never leave nor forsake His people. Against some popular teaching, God does not withhold His presence. If you are in Christ, He is present in you, right now.
We may not see or feel His presence. But in your difficulty, if you can trust that He is good, you can turn your attention to His presence. Answers about “why” or jabs at who God is or isn’t won’t help at all. His presence, like a cloud blocking the heat, and like a fire illuminating the path and warming the cold dark moments is what you and I need. Let yourself know that He is good, and experience His good presence.
*I do NOT believe that God causes all difficulties in our lives. Mostly our world (nature and human circumstance) is spinning out of alignment because of the wrongdoing of people now and throughout the ages. Sometimes God allows difficulties to remain over the natural course of time (though didn’t cause them), sometimes He causes them. God didn’t create robots, He created humans with free will, and with that free will comes consequences (I know cuz I parent a 7 and a 5 year old!)