Are you there, Lord?
These are the words I sometimes whisper in moments where it seems like gloominess has choked out all the light.
The beginning of this year was a difficult one for my family because my uncle passed away. For years he courageously battled cancer. There is nothing quite as heartbreaking as seeing a strong person decline from illness.
Trusting the Lord
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I ask myself: Where is God in all of this?
In the moment I say this, I cannot help but think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, as told in the Gospel of Luke. I think of the moment when the Lord was in so much anguish that he cried out: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
At first blush, the words “yet, not my will but yours be done” do not seem very comforting. How do we as human beings make sense of life? How do we make sense of death? How do we wrestle with the great questions of life?
Like a still small voice whispering in my ear…there is only one word. Trust.
Trust the Lord who created all of creation. Trust the Lord who arranges everything. Trust the Lord who has a plan for us all.
Joseph Trusts the Lord
I recently finished reading the book of Genesis. Let’s for a moment revisit the story of Joseph, more specifically when he revealed himself to his brothers.
As the story goes, he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers when a caravan of Ishmaelite traders were coming by. He lived many years in Egypt first as the slave of Potiphar and was later thrown into prison when Potiphar’s wife accused him of trying to take advantage of her. In truth, she tried to seduce him but he would have no part of it. Joseph was finally freed when he interpreted a dream that Pharaoh had. Thereafter he was named governor over all of Egypt. Many lives were saved during the famine because of his quick thinking.
When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, he explained to them: “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…So it was not you who sent me here but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:4,8).
Basically, what is the point here? Joseph faced many horrible situations but he never stopped trusting God.
Trust That God Has a Plan
Death is a time of sadness, grieving, and memories. There is a time when we need to put our trust in the Lord. We need to trust that he has our best interests at heart. We need to trust that he knows what is best.
There are still some raw days when the emotion is too strong. There are other days when it seems like everything is going to be alright. As someone grieving, I take it one day at a time. By placing my trust in the Lord, I know that it will never be misplaced.
I think of the cross Jesus had to bear. I think of the fact that he lived a human life like we do. If there is anyone who understands all of it — it is the Lord.
Moments like these remind me of a famous verse from the book of Jeremiah: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).