Struggles on the Journey

Time continues to move along on this pre-field journey to Papua New Guinea, and it has been one filled with great joy and times of struggle.  We have lots to be thankful for as God has provided for our needs every day.   Unfortunately these last weeks have been filled with a time of struggle and grief.  Some of you know the saga of our lives as of late, others of you may not.  Last week we suffered from a miscarriage.  It was a WANTED pregnancy, for sure, but an unexpected letdown?  Yeah, that too.  

As I have struggled to process with Brian and with others the grief and emotion of it all, I was encouraged in our New Testament class this week regarding how we know we are built to be in relationship because the Trinity, at its core is relational--there is God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  So our God at the core is relational…..Why is this important?  Because my tendency is to hole up and shut up and hide.  Being in relationship is the exact opposite of that.  It invites me to share, to receive care, to care for, and engage in suffering with another human being in an effort to reach out to our God for sense and understanding. 

When Christ was dying on the cross, He was still in communication with the Father when He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  It is my belief that God suffered when Christ died too.  It wasn't an easy decision to choose to sacrifice His Son, BUT God saw the eternal significance AND He was already planning on how He was going to be reunited with Christ in Power and for the redemption of His beloved adopted children--you and me.  I HAVE to believe that this 'suffering' is NOT for nothing!  While I am still working things out and grieving, I am truly thankful in the face of it to have a God and Savior who suffers with me.  There is no suffering known to man that Christ can't comprehend.  Spiritual?  Yeah, He felt distance between Himself and God.  Emotional?  Yeah, He knew agony.  Mental?  Yeah, He knew the anguish of betrayal.  Relational?  Yeah, he was abandoned by those friends He held dearest.  Physical?  Yeah, He suffered and died on a cross--the most agonizing way to die.  Still...STILL...the story doesn't end there...there is STILL abundant hope waiting to be revealed!  

While we may not be able to see the end results of “WHY” we continue to stand fast and push into our Lord for comfort that can only come through Him.  We have been challenged by the verses in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Even in the midst of painful challenges this verse holds true. So , that is our claim today.  We will praise Him in this storm...