God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
We don’t need a Sunday-only kind of religion or a theological ascent to a God who, though we may describe in Biblical accuracy, we haven’t learned to trust. Our heart’s cry is for a God that would sit with us in the pit of our suffering. For a God whose voice that would speak a better word, whose presence is real and tangible, and who affirms that He sees and remembers the frailty of our frame. We yearn for a living God.
God’s nearness isn’t always the first thing we feel when suffering. Often it’s quite the contrary. “Where is God?” is the lament we must cry. It’s the opening of our pain, a pain that has to be entered for real communion.
Maybe we’re asking “Where were you, God?” in accusation of His goodness.
Maybe “where is God” is the cynical scoffing of a disillusioned life.
“Where is God?” could be the anxious plea of a heart that has only known abandonment and struggles to feel anything beyond its fear.
Whatever the message of our pain, God’s not afraid of us candidly speaking our minds to Him. In fact, He’s eagerly waiting for it. We don’t need to religiously dress-up our hearts to come before Him. All we must do is come.
Seeking Him in present suffering, again and again, produces confidence like David’s when he exclaimed, “Taste and see that the Lord is good! How blessed is the one who takes shelter in Him!”(Ps 34:8). God isn’t passively observing our circumstances, wishing the best for us. He’s passionately desiring to reveal Himself as the Comforter and Refuge for our weary souls!
When we choose to seek Him in times of trouble, we begin to know God as a friend, one who wants to speak into the details of our situations. In saying yes to His comfort, we acknowledge that He’s a living God, one who’s mindful of our thoughts and every hair on our head—and certainly mindful of our present circumstances.