Incomparable Suffering

There is suffering all around me just now. I know that this is always so, but for some reason it seems more prevalent, more dark, coming so far out of left field, I didn't even know it was in the game.

I have been going through my share of difficult things lately, clinging to the Lord for strength, and watching Him show up, even as I fell apart.

Last week, I heard a story of abuse which haunts me. I've been witnessing marriages crumbling, health failing, friendships broken, loved ones of my loved ones walking away from God.

Just yesterday, I read a story, written by a friend, about a young father, taken from this world too soon.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored? [Jeremiah 8:22]

These are just the personal connections, just the individuals. This is to say nothing of Syria, of Washington, of the pain plastered across headlines daily.

Sometimes I feel guilty about my pain. I feel guilty because even when things are very hard, at least I'm safe from physical harm, at least I'm not where they are.

It's much harder to ask for prayer when I feel this way. Somehow, I get it into my head that God practices triage. I begin to think that my problems are small in comparison, underwhelming when compared to those of others. That God won't move because He has more important things to do.

I think that our enemy would like nothing better than for me to believe that I serve a "buck up, buttercup" sort of God. I think he'd like me to think that my suffering doesn't move the Lord, that He doesn't cry with me, that He is not always with me, seeing what I see, feeling what I feel.

With the Psalmist, I know this to be true: "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." [Psalm 56:8]

The same Lord who promised to wipe every tear from my eyes in Heaven does not miss a single tear here on earth.

My God is a God who can handle Syria, hold a widow in the face of loss, renew a child robbed of innocence, and still sing over me.

He is not bound by the ropes of time. He does not triage His children. He has hands in abundance, and can be all places at once.


(image credit, and here, remix by Cara Strickland)