There are times when we find ourselves alone in our suffering. We may feel tormented. We pine for relief. We pray that God lift our burden and open the door to a better reality.
Sometimes, we feel He has deserted us. No one seems to be there to catch us when we fall. No one seems to be there to lighten our burdens. A wall of mirrors keeps looking back at us with no answers, just reflecting that same pain, that same struggle, those same tormenting thoughts and fears. We are encased in a nightmare with no doors or windows for escape.
We pray, remembering Psalm 130 (1-2), “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”
And we ask Him: “Lord, where are You? Why aren’t You here? Don’t YOU care?”
I’ve been there. Feeling guilty, stifled, cornered, with no solution or light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to give up, to end it all. Somehow, in the depths, I found hope. I discovered a new strength, and I remembered all that I had. I took a look at all the gifts that the Lord had given me – my children and family, a spouse who would not give up on me, a profession which had given me the opportunity to make the lives of others better … and the love of God – that same God whom I had questioned, whom I had rejected because “He wasn’t listening to me.”
I was reminded that, like a loving parent, God allows us to make mistakes … and learn from them. He allows us to experience pain so that we might empathize more with those who are suffering. He allows us to question Him so that we might get to know Him better.
The pain, the torment, the suffering have become opportunities to learn more about myself and, as my daughter once said, to “help me become a better person.” If we wait and we are patient with God, He will answer those cries, and, because He wills only the best for us, there will be a silver lining, a new day, a renewed hope and joy.
As we struggle, we remember that Jesus struggled, too. He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane before His passion and death. It seemed that God was not listening to his plea. Jesus’ reply was simply, and probably dejectedly: “Your will be done.”
And so it was, but it was not what Jesus had hoped: He experienced excruciating physical pain and was humiliated, scorned and spat upon… And then, three days later, the Resurrection!
For Jesus, it was just as God had promised in the Old Testament: “I will never fail you or forsake you.” (Dt 31:8) – a reminder for us that no matter the tortuous road that we may be traveling, sooner or later, there will be a fork that will take us to relief, fulfillment and joy. Worth the wait, don’t you think?
- Have you ever felt forgotten and alone?
- How did you handle your disappointment that “no one came”?