In my distress……..I’ve learned something about distress….it’s not “distress” unless it’s distressing. Trouble is not “trouble” unless it’s troubling. Pain is not “pain” unless it’s painful. Along with each one comes a sharp, emotional experience.
How does pain feel? It hurts. Trouble feels chaotic, disorienting and panicky. Distress is like a painful pressure that you urgently want to get away from. Others may describe these differently, but we all agree that these are hard places to be in.
I’m so glad that the LORD doesn’t whitewash our turmoil. He doesn’t ask us to slap a “Praise the Lord” on our trouble as He tries to move us away from emotion. He actually calls us to pour our hearts out to Him at ALL times Ps. 18:6. He promises that He cares about us, and that He is with us in trouble Ps. 23:4. He invites us to be real with Him and honest about our need. He is the best person to run to in trouble! Not only does He truly listen and care, but He is a refuge and a comforting Presence Jer. 16:19.
But here’s the rub…….the Evil One is constantly discrediting Him to me. He is trying to get me to believe lies about who He is. “He doesn’t care. If He cared, why would He lead you here?” “He’s being mean. With all His power…..why would He put you in this painful place?” “Look at all your trouble! WOW! Look at how He’s treating you!” “He’s angry with you.” or “He’s punishing you.” or “You have a right to be angry with Him.” None of this is true. My enemy will say anything to cut me off from my faithful Father.
Why should I trust the LORD when my experience doesn’t match what I think “being loved by God” should look like? Because He died for me. He showed His commitment to my good and the good of those I love the most dearly, by running ahead of our GREATEST pain, misery and trouble and taking the full effect of what we deserved. I should trust Someone like that. He fully absorbed the deepest trouble we would ever experience in our place…..so we wouldn’t have to. If He doesn’t care about us, why would He do that? He embraced the greatest loneliness in the midst of His greatest trouble, so that we could have the fellowship of God in the midst of all our trouble.
How amazing and wonderful. It’s so good to recount these things. And this is why in MY distress, I will cry out to the LORD.
photo by Rocky Mountain Photography