Sometimes it just hurts. Sometimes it just hurts so much that you can’t do anything other than hurt. I don’t have much memory of being in such pain. I know i have experienced it but most of it has been forgotten. Replaced by stories told by my parents of being burned or bitten or broken or asthmatic. I do remember being so desperate for oxygen that i would just start crying out in the night only to hear my Dad rush out of bed to console me and alleviate my desperation with my weird asthma machine. I remember not being able to breathe properly at work and hoping that i would be allowed to go home because i didn’t want to disappoint anyone by asking. I remember being in a crappy hotel in a village in Cambodia, racked with fever and pain, not knowing if there was a doctor nearby or if the doctor would be able to understand me. We ended up finding a french speaker and one of my students was from Quebec, but until we knew that i was just exhausted and over it.
I have watched one of my siblings be up all night with my nephew as he struggled to sleep. I have watched my Nana slowly leave this world through multiple strokes and recently i have watched friends children be so uncomfortable that their emotions are like a roller coaster. Going one minute from happy dancing to the next minute screaming in angry disappointment. Or other children waving from the preschool as their parents leave and waiting for them at the window to come back for hours.
We are sometimes in such hopelessness because we can’t see the hope, we can’t feel the comfort we can only see pain. We can only see what we feel and what we feel is not what we want to feel.
Even today we heard from a Latvian boy who spoke about the young people and their need for some kind of hope. Because they see none.
There has been so many stories told to me in the last decade that makes me question everything I know about God. If God is so loving then why is this baby deaf? If God is in control of everything why is there such a thing as ICE or Heroin? if Jesus is so good, then why do we prefer to work hopelessly at a job we hate, dreaming of the day, as a 65 year old, we get to stop working and play golf?
Theres a Psalm i have been reading a lot of late where the psalmist starts out just questioning God.
‘Are you serious God, what are you blind? Why aren’t you helping me? Why aren’t you doing what you said you would?’
Similar to parts of Job where God is accused of a ton of stuff. and then in the back end of the book he starts throwing questions back.
‘What do you know of anything??”
And he’s right. We don’t know much. And pain and discomfort quickly and easily clouds our judgement and our knowledge that God is a good God. God is a great God and God IS in control even in the moments that it seems like he’s being a douche canoe.
God is never a douche canoe. And the moments i have really needed to hold to that truth, comfort has come. Similar to when i remember who my parents are. I love my parents, and I know how much they love me, and that fills me with a warmth and a pride that i get to be called Randall. Same with God, i am comforted that I am cared for and known by the God of the universe.