Week 4 | Reflection

We are managers of all kinds of things. We manage people at work, we manage our home’s and our kids’ schedules, we manage our money, we manage our to-do list or our obligations at work. These are all good things and remind us how God has given us dominion over things in our world. Eventually though we are reminded that we are not quite given dominion over ALL things and that there are just simply things outside of our control. Nothing awakens us more to this than walking through a season of suffering. Instantly we realize we are not in control and quite simply, we never were. God uses these times to remind us we are broken people living in a broken world. Questions fill our minds while we wrestle with God over our sorrow and grief. Why did this have to happen? Why did you allow this? Not me, this is for other people. Why can’t you just fix this?

All over Scripture we see God’s people wrestle with Him as they try to come to an understanding of the suffering that He allows. Scripture offers us at least two handles as we grapple for answers. First, God promises His presence in the reality of our current suffering. He offers hope in Lamentations 3:22–23, “Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” Our God faithfully walks in the fire with us and promises new mercies each new day. While we cannot control the situation or the outcome, we trust in the One who holds all of it in his hands, believing it is in his sovereign control and His purposes and plans for us are good. “How great is your goodness that you have stored up for those who fear you and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in you” (Psalm 31:19).

Second, Scripture also teaches us to look to things unseen, the future restoration of all things. Our suffering is not only in His sovereign loving hands, but by allowing this, he stirs in us a longing for a better home. We are reminded that we live in a fallen world and this world alone cannot and will not satisfy. Suffering has a way of making us ache for our future home, longing for the restoration of all things. 2 Corinthians 4 reminds us to not give up!  “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” One glorious day we will see with our own eyes the restoration of all things, and we will be with Jesus in our eternal home, where all the sad things become untrue.

Katie Martin