Before addressing whatever your difficulty is it is vitally important that you feel embraced and even understood, in the sense of understanding that nobody can truly understand.
Our dog Whisper had been such a loyal pet for years. One day I saw him get injured and quickly I rushed over to pick him up in efforts to rescue him. In pain he bit me so hard blood began to flow from my arm. He was in pain and he needed help but he needed help the way he needed help rather than the way I was compelled to give it to him.
This is the case in our lives so many times when we find ourselves hurting, disappointed, in pain, feeling confused and wondering how to have the courage we need to face the storm. People will want to run to your rescue but they won’t really know how to carry you correctly. God does.
Lamentations speaks directly to this defining those times when you may even need to separate yourself from those well-intentioned voices that simply do not know how to minister to your need in the moment. Honest pain surrounded by conventional religious wisdom can be very frustrating and many times contributes to greater pain. We see this clearly in the book of Job.
The Message Bible expresses Lamentations 3 very well:
19 I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
20 I remember it all – oh, how well I remember – the feeling of hitting the bottom.
21 But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
23 They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
24 I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.
25 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.
26 It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
27 It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
28 When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
29 Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
God does understand. God is there to help. God will be near the brokenhearted. We pay such a high price for our suffering we must purpose to invest it correctly so we don’t waste it. This is a deeper opportunity to identify with the suffering of Jesus. A common reaction we all must fight is to become angry with God and separate ourselves from him.
It is not uncommon for us to experience difficulties and storms even when we are right in the middle of God’s will. The disciples did exactly what Jesus told them to do in Mark 4 and in doing so they sailed right into a storm thinking they were all going to die.
Mark 4:35-37 “..He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”…37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. NKJV
Jesus saw them through and as a result they were stronger in their faith. Often times our greatest difficulties bring our greatest definition. May God grant us strength, grace and comfort to walk through the storms this fallen world can bring. We live in a fallen world but we do serve a Risen King.