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From the DayBreaks archive, April 2005:
Corrie ten Boom knew something about tragedy and suffering. She lived with a courageous faith. Upon emerging from a Nazi concentration camp she said, “There is no pit so deep that God isn’t deeper still.” She picked an apt analogy because pain and tragedy is a pit. For some, it appears bottomless. Many experience a falling, disorientation, a terror, as they grab for walls that are out of reach. They see only blackness, and hear only echoes of the life they used to know. And for many, they claim that God is not present. But Corrie ten Boom reminds us that even in the pits of tragedy, God is still there. He is present. Yes, pain is real. But God, indeed, is real, too. That’s where faith comes in.
On the wall of a concentration camp, a prisoner had carved these words:
I believe in the sun, even though it does not shine.
I believe in love, even when it isn’t shown.
I believe in God, even when he doesn’t speak.
As I write this DayBreaks, I’m in Florida at my sister’s home. While the sun shines outside and the birds sing, it’s a bit darker inside. Her husband died a week ago this past Sunday after a titanic struggle with pancreatic cancer. She is a couple of years older than I, and she faces a future of raising 2 boys (currently 9 and 5) as a widowed mom. It is a pit of tragedy? Yes, it is – in human terms. Her husband was a minister of the gospel and college professor. But the human tragedy is still real and the pit is deep and the pain is deep. And it will be for a long, long time.
But we also know that God is real. He is the most Real reality that there is. And though at times the sun doesn’t shine, and at times love seems to vanish, and though at times we may all cry out to God seeking answers to the universal question of “Why?”, even when He can’t be heard, He hears. He cares. He cries. And He will heal.
Our faith in God must become deeper – and stronger – than our tragedy and despair. If we allow our pain, tragedy or despair to be greater than God, we have made it our idol. If we let it dominate our lives, fill our thoughts and minds – it has supplanted the place that only God is intended to fill. By dwelling on those things instead of God, we are worshipping trouble rather than the One who will ultimately fix all things.
May our faith in God’s goodness admit no boundaries, accept no limits, and grow until there is no room in our hearts for anything else.
Job 11:7-8 (NLT) – Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything there is to know about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—but who are you? It is deeper than the underworld—what can you know in comparison to him?
PRAYER: When we are tempted to despair, remind us of Your goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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