H.M.S. Richards, a man who loved God and inspired many people with his spiritual writings, shared the following short story to remind us of God’s care and devotion to each of us.
During a fatal illness a hopeless unbeliever in his despairing bitterness commanded his little girl to print a placard with the words “God is no where,” and to hang it on the wall at the foot of his bed, where he could see it constantly. She obeyed, but in her excitement she disarranged the letters so that the motto read, “God is now here.” With the father’s surprise at these unexpected words the Holy Spirit brought faith to his heart [i].
During difficult times, when we are suffering with various issues, we may feel that God is “no where” to be found. After all, if He truly cared about us, why would He allow us to suffer and not relieve our misery and pain? We may have unresolved health issues; difficulty earning a living to pay the bills and provide for the necessities of living; alcohol and/or other drug dependence; relationship problems with people who are supposed to love and support us; and various other disturbing and seemingly hopeless issues with which we cannot obtain a satisfactory solution. We may not receive a satisfactory human answer to “Where is God during my troubles?;" but by our faith we can be assured that “He never leaves us nor forsakes us!” (Hebrews 13: 5). He further promises He is our Helper and we need not be fearful (Psalm 118:6). He assures us that there is nothing impossible for Him (Jeremiah 32: 27).
So what good are these promises when we suffer and appear to receive no relief? As in the short story above, God’s care is shown by sending His Holy Spirit to fill us with faith, even when we feel we are suffering! Through such faith, we trust God during miserable and difficult times. With such faith, we trust His words that He is with us always, never leaving us. With such faith, we find comfort and softening from pain! We may not always receive the solution from God that we are looking for, but He provides us with strength and faith to manage our circumstances with grace and faithfulness to Him (1 Corinthians 10: 13).
Faith in God is never faith misplaced. Learning to trust Him through difficult times is the blessing He provides.
- Susan Boon
[i]. Quote taken from H.M.S. Richards' daily devotional The Promises of God, March 29 entry.