Where is God in your pain? It can seem that he is far away. But, he wants you to know something... Keep Reading.
I am listening to You, Lord Jesus. Please speak. Thank you. Amen.
Exodus 5:22 - 6:5 - Moses returned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
The people of Israel were in pain. They had suffered for a long time. Moses was in pain, as he was being accused as the source of their suffering. Moses passed along the accusation to God. For God had promised deliverance, but all the Israelites knew was brutal injustice.
How did God respond to Moses' accusation? Yes, God had promised deliverance. But, it hadn't happened yet. Moses and his people were growing very impatient. Did God respond to them with impatience? Did he slap them down with his own accusations against their faithlessness?
No, God drew closer. He spoke his name "Yahweh" to Moses - a name that he had not fully revealed to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. To them he called himself "El-Shaddai" (God Almighty). The revelation of the name, Yahweh, was a move of vulnerability by God. He wanted Moses to know his nearness, though it felt he was far away. The "I Am" was indeed present in the suffering of his people. And the "I Am" was there to save.
God did not remove himself from the suffering of his people. He knew that they needed him, first and foremost, in the midst of their suffering.
God is not the author of your pain and suffering. He comes to heal and deliver. He brings hope and the reminder of his promises. Yet between the promise and the deliverance, the waiting can be so hard. He wants us to know greater intimacy with him during these very difficult times. He extends himself to us with great love and vulnerability.
Can you pick up on his nearness in your suffering... on the extension of his love toward you in the midst of pain? He is not far away. He is right beside you, and he desperately wants you to know that.
Perhaps you would like to pray along with me:
Merciful Father, I don’t always feel You. Sometimes, it seems like You are against me, and You don’t care. I believe You are near. Show me Your closeness. Remind me of Your names. Between the promise and the deliverance, I want to draw close to You. I will not run away. I love you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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