Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



Giving Up?

Lent 2018

“I believe in the sun when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent.”

Found scratched on a wall in a WWII concentration camp.

I often find myself wanting to know God’s presence. It is easy to feel close to God when times are good, things are going well, and relationships are strong. However, the true challenge comes in the times when we are hit with a storm. Suddenly, God feels like a distant being who isn’t orchestrating my life in the way I think it should be going.

In the past few weeks, several people close to me have been given a terminal illness diagnosis. At times like these that I find myself wondering, “Where is God?” Does He care?” Why is He silent?” I confuse the presence of pain and suffering with the absence of God’s love.

We are not alone in feeling that God is silent at times. Consider the words of David in Psalm 44:

Psalm 44:1-3 David knows that God is good.

Psalm 44:9-13 In a time of turmoil, David questions God.

Psalm 44:17-26 David recognizes God’s steadfast Love.

Now, think about another silence. In the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments, we see nothing recorded about God’s hand in history. He seemed silent. But then…. the voice of John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord. God’s silence was followed by His greatest gift—his Beloved Son.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

How can we fathom a Love that never ends? Each morning Christ reminds us of his love which is as sure as the heavens above, He will never leave us or forsake us.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

In times of struggle we can draw near to Christ and find our greatest comfort in his steadfast love. Since I know how deeply I am loved and that Christ gave up everything for me, I can walk in faith and trust. Christ gave up everything; I can trust Him through everything.

Karissa Lystrup ‘15
Director of Music & Worship Arts, Bakersfield, CA

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