It’s true, I believe that all things come from God and all things hold together in Him.
I believe that in Him is perfect peace and that in the midst of agony we can find ourselves secure in Him.
It isn’t that “Just give it to Jesus,” is totally wrong. In our Christian walk we may have powerful experiences of peace and rejuvenation as we surrender to the will of God. But there is also a misunderstanding in the church that if we just pray hard enough or if we just surrender sincerely enough we will certainly be cured of our illness and our pain will definitely cease.
We forget that our Jesus wept tears of blood, He was beaten and crucified, He felt real pain and He continues to bear the scars of His suffering.
When we cry to God He is often silent and our burdens remain. Yet in those moments He is present, He sits with us, as we bleed, and vomit and scream and die. He is with us through suffering and because of Him we can endure it, but He is not our escape from it (we will look a lot deeper into this idea in our future books, please join us in a couple weeks when we start The Problem of Pain and then for Silence).
. . .
This week we wind up the Liturgy of Life Reading Group’s first book of the year, A Grief Observed. We have read of Lewis’ turmoil as he struggles through the loss of his wife and he doubts about the goodness of God.
Here in this last chapter we find Lewis still grieving but at the same time he has found his way back to God and has a growing peace about his ongoing relationship with his deceased wife.
“Grief,” he says, “is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend can reveal a totally new landscape.”
He goes on to say,
The notes have been about myself, and about H., and about God. In that order. The order and the proportions exactly what they ought not to have been. And I see that I have nowhere fallen into that mode of thinking about either which we call praising them. Yet that would have been best for me. Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it. Praise in due order; of Him as giver, of her as the gift. Don’t we in praise somehow enjoy what we praise, however far we are from it?
Lewis describes peace found through suffering, and hope in a resurrected God. But he is also clear, there is no shortcut. It is through suffering that he got there.
If today you grieve, or fear, or seek answers from God that are not coming, you are not alone. You are as Christ was on the cross. You are as every single one of us will be at some moment in our life. You don’t need to give it to Jesus, He has it.
Just as God was sovereign when the savior of the world was crucified, Christ remains with us as we suffer. You will find Him, just keep standing, and know that He is standing with you.
This post is part of a series from the Liturgy of Life Reading Group. We are currently reading A Grief Observed. We would love to hear from you. If you blog feel free to link up with us every Wednesday and share your thoughts on our latest book.