“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NCV)
In his book Exodus and Revolution, Michael Walzer shares three lessons we can all learn from the Exodus event of the Old Testament. Walzer writes, “What the Exodus…taught: first, that wherever you live, it is probably Egypt. Second, that there is a better place, a world more attractive, a promised land. And third, that ‘the way to the land is through the wilderness.’”
For many of us, these uncertain times (have there ever been any certain times?) can lead us to feel that we are stranded in our own “Egypt”. A down-turn in the economy, shaky political happenings, and a war on two fronts are enough to make us feel apprehensive on a national level.
But for many of us, these national problems have very local, and very personal implications.
Quite frankly, we may find ourselves at times scratching our heads and wondering about God’s involvement in our life, and whether or not He is even aware of the problems that we face. But as we hear the words of Paul, we can declare, much like the Book of Ecclesiastes, that there is, “…nothing new under the sun.” We have no corner on the market in suffering, nor did our spiritual forefathers.
When we find ourselves doubting God because of the trials and tribulations of life on this imperfect earth, we must remember that our relationship with Him doesn’t exempt us from calamity. It does, however, give us an advantage, for it is in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ that we find the power, trust, and understanding to press on.
Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman and his family suffered a devastating loss when their five-year-old daughter was struck and killed when Chapman’s seventeen-year-old son was backing his vehicle out of the family’s driveway. In the wake of that tragedy, Chapman penned lyrics to a song he entitled, “Yours”. One verse of that song says:
“I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
so deep and dark that I could barely breath.
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear and
I’ve questioned everything that I believe.
Still even here in this great darkness
a comfort and a hope comes breaking through
as I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.”
Please remember that you belong to God. No matter how dark the future may seem, regardless of how hopeless your situation may feel, you are His and He loves you with an unfathomable love. Find strength, hope, and determination in knowing the Creator of all things holds you firmly in the palm of His hand.