Where is God when I am suffering? (Steph)

People often ask how God can be loving when there is so much pain in the world. From breakups and betrayal to pain and death, suffering is always a part of life. How do we reconcile this with a God who loves us and promises to care for us? Although God does not take away all of our pain and problems, I know one thing – we can be sure of His presence.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6 

Did you catch that great news? “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

Never: at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever.

A simple word but in this context – so powerful!

I saw God’s presence in the midst of extreme pain when I lost my first child to a miscarriage. It has been 9 months and 6 days since I found out my baby’s heart had stopped beating. It still brings tears to my eyes to remember the loss. In a matter of moments my world was flipped upside down as I realized I would never get to hold her, hear her voice, or see her run to me and hug me. I had no say in the matter and I knew God could have done something about this but chose not to. I had to trust that His plans were somehow good (Jer. 29:11).

The weeks and months following were full of grief. Where was my loving God in the midst of pain and heartache? 

God was there when He allowed Zach’s work schedule to work out so that I was not alone when I heard the news. God was there that night when my best friend brought me flowers and a giant chocolate bar. God was there as I received more cards, texts, e-mails, and gifts from family and friends than I had at any other time in my life.  God was there as other women shared their stories of miscarriage with me. God was there when my former roommate bought me redbox movie codes so I could take a break from crying and have some laughter in my life. God was there when He lead me to a book (at just the right time) that reminded me I would see my child in heaven someday. God was holding me on Dec. 26 (my original due date) as I woke up and cried. Again and again He poured out His love through the people He had placed in my life.

I can’t count the number of people who prayed for us. Zach and I were surrounded by encouragement and support and I knew it was from God. The God who promises to never leave us. The God who knows what it is like to lose a child. The God who gave His son for me so that I could have the hope of eternity. The God who walked the earth as Jesus and knows what it is to suffer loss. Thanks to the truth of the Gospel I will see my baby in heaven someday. I don’t know why we had to experience such loss but I know it drew us closer to Jesus, the ultimate Comforter. 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Cor. 1:3-5

Whatever you are suffering through right now, know that God will never leave you and His plans for you are good. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, financial situation, the unknown future, or a broken relationship, allow Him to be your comfort today and always. You are loved.

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