January 11, 2006

Where Is God When We Hurt?

Psalm 139:7-12

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:8


I was visiting someone whose close relative had taken her own life. "Was God there when it happened?" I was asked. "And could she be saved?" As we were talking, the words of Psalm 139:8 came to mind. We opened our Bibles, and together we read the first part of Psalm 139, which says God is where we are, no matter what. The God of the Bible, the God who has become our Father because of Jesus Christ, does not leave us, not even in our final desperate moments. Says David, "If I make my bed in the depths, you are there!" God is present even in the darkest moments of our lives, also for those who have reached a point where death seems better than life. We must be careful not to draw unwarranted conclusions. Our God is a God of mercy and of grace. He understands when life becomes unbearable for his children. Of course God wants us to live. He does not want us to take our own lives. According to John 10:10, Jesus came to give us full life. If you feel you have reached the end of your rope, cry out for help. God is there! And if you have experienced the pain of losing someone who took his or her own life, be assured that God is present even in the depths of life. He has promised never to leave us.

Lord, please give your comfort to those who have lost someone they love. Assure them of your everlasting presence and love as well, for Jesus' sake. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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