Written by Laura Dingman
Over the last week I have been reminded that we were not created to endure suffering. There have been sudden deaths from cancer, pending deaths from cancer, infant losses, marriage infidelity, victims of sexual abuse and all of the grief that goes along with it. There are times when the grief and the loss are so painful that the emotional trauma breaks the physical barrier. In times like these when the wounds are too fresh to be scars, the hurt is great and hope seems like a distant memory.
And then I remember.
I remember that we were not created for loss.
We were not created for suffering.
We were created to dwell with God and death was never to be a part of our story.
But in the garden, we traded the knowledge of God for the knowledge of good and evil. We handed it in like a ticket trade at a game arcade. I have made comments before about how much I’d like to kick Eve in the shins when I see her in eternity. The reality is if I had been the one in the garden that day, I would have handed in my ticket too. I would have traded knowing God and would have been standing there covered with the fruit of that tree. All over my face. I do it now. I trade the knowledge of God for trying to do the right thing. I trade the knowledge of God for what I want when I want it.
The struggle is real. The loss is real. The pain is real. It seems like it won’t ever end sometimes. Whether it’s the loss all around me or the losses I choose on my own. The curse is alive and well.
But there’s another part of this reality that is all too often forgotten.
My Savior is alive and well. He is reigning and ruling. Even though he may feel far away, he sees every tear that falls from my eyes and yours. He is well aware of the pain and loss and the struggles and trials. The ones that happen to us and the ones we cause ourselves. His silence does not mean that he has somehow lost control. He still holds the universe in the palm of his hand.
And there will be an end to this struggle. On the other side of eternity, there will be an end. He promises us there will be.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:1, 3-7 NLT
The pain will end. The death will end. The sorrow and struggle will end. They will be gone forever. And we will dance at the feet of our Savior. There will be enough of him to go around. There won’t be any waiting on him like you’re waiting to see one of the princesses at Disney world. You and I will sit at his feet, in his presence and feel the joy that we long to feel now.
And that is the reality. That is what makes hope real. Remember that.
Laura is the author of the upcoming Bible study “Life Rhythms: Learning to Live in God-Centered Time.” You can read more about Laura here.