Posted by: geolocke | 2015/02/22

A Letter To One Who Is troubled

Dear one, your story cuts me to my very heart. I have only an inkling of what troubles you are facing.

There is evil in this world, that much is certain, and it threatens to overpower and destroy those who are weak and/or disabled, be it physical, mental, emotional, or even economical in circumstance. Evil acts through those who it has seduced with visions of personal riches, power, glory, and might. These “agents of evil” often don’t even know that they are possessed by evil as they carry out their deeds of self-interest, not caring who they hurt in the process as long as they get what they want.

But we do have a champion on our side. God, who “knew us before we were in the womb” and who loves and cares for us every instant of our life is that champion. That does not mean that God will come down from Heaven tomorrow with blazing fire and lightning blasts to destroy those who are tormenting us (although I believe it would be quite an eye-opener if God *were* to do that tomorrow.) Rather, it has been my experience that God works in quiet, soft ways, whispering words of encouragement to us and strengthening us when we need it most, and asking that we place our trust in God’s promise that all will be well with us regardless of whatever may come our way or however we might find our end.

God gives every human a choice called free will. We are free to choose to live trusting in God and the promises God makes to us, or we can choose to ignore God and leave ourselves susceptible to the wiles of evil, or we may choose not to choose at all, to not believe in God or evil and take our chances relying on ourselves for our every need in every circumstance. For me, I choose to believe in and trust in God and God’s promises that have come to us through many generations of faith and belief, and I believe in the promise of Jesus Christ.

This way of living, trusting God to care for us in all circumstances, is not always easy. Sometimes the injuries we receive waiting for God’s promise can cause us to question if God really does care for us. “Why must I suffer so?” or “Where are you God now that I need you?” are questions that might arise in times of our deepest troubles. But we must remember that God sent us his son, Jesus Christ, born human like us, who grew up like us and lived like us and ultimately died under the most torturous of circumstances, just like us, to let us know that God understands exactly what it means to be human and all the joys, pains, happiness and sorrow that being human can sometimes entail.

But that is not the end of the story because this Jesus rose from the dead and walked again among the living and he still lives among us and moves among us and speaks the Word of God to us through the actions of his Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God. This is the surest sign of God’s love for us. It is also the surest sign that God cares not just for our physical being, but more importantly, for our very souls which God gave to us and which God promises to us, through Jesus Christ, that our souls will live on after our mortal bodies have ceased to exist.

When I first read your letter I started thinking of an appropriate Psalm that I might pray for you. I always turn to the Psalms when looking for a proper prayer because these prayers cover the entire course of the human experience. At first I thought of Psalm 94, or Psalm 23 which is always good in a pinch, but I settled on Psalms 42 & 43 because I feel that they best fit the emotions your letter has given rise to within my soul.

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God? My tears have been my bread day and night, as they ask me every day, “Where is your God?”

Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, when I would cross over to the shrine of the Mighty One, to the house of God, amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.

Why are you downcast, my soul? Why do you groan within me? Wait for God, for I shall again praise him, my savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I remember you from the land of the Jordan and Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents, and all your waves and breakers sweep over me. By day may the LORD send his mercy, and by night may his righteousness be with me!

I will pray to the God of my life, I will say to God, my rock: “Why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?” It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me, when they say to me every day: “Where is your God?”

Why are you downcast, my soul? Why do you groan within me? Wait for God, for I shall again praise him, my savior and my God.

Grant me justice, O God; defend me from a faithless people; from the deceitful and unjust rescue me. You, O God, are my strength. Why then do you spurn me? Why must I go about mourning, with the enemy oppressing me?

Send your light and your fidelity, that they may be my guide; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place of your dwelling, that I may come to the altar of God, to God, my joy, my delight. Then I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

Why are you downcast, my soul? Why do you groan within me? Wait for God, for I shall again praise him, my savior and my God.

Thank you for entrusting me with the story of your sorrows. I do not know if any of these words of mine will provide you with any measure of comfort in the struggles that you face, but I hope they will. If nothing else, please know that you have been, are now, and will be in my prayers.

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