If Chandra’s* street address reflected what most of her life is like it would be called Despair Circle. Her father died when she was young and he was the one person who truly understood and loved her. Before entering college she was brutally raped on her way home from work—an assault that left her scarred and devalued. She married a man who promised to take care of her but it was never a union of love. He would become an alcoholic, cheat on her and verbally abuse her and the three children she would conceive. Eventually, battling horrific pain, he would succumb to brain and liver cancer leaving her with thousands of dollars of credit card debt and zero income.
Chandra’s back is permanently injured from car accidents and years of lifting her daughter who was paralyzed in a diving accident. Jobless and frustrated by migraine-induced blackouts, depression, intestinal infections, and panic attacks she takes a battery of medications and smokes to relieve her anxiety.
You might think by what I have written that Chandra must be a pretty bad person to reap so much misery. But in truth, she loves God, treats people with the utmost kindness and has a healthy sense of humor. Solomon wrote, “There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile” (Ecclesiastes 8:14). Chandra is not afraid to admit that she wonders what she did to make God mad at her. She struggles with truly believing that He loves her. She questions why it is worth living. Yet squeezed by the hands of futility, still she raises her voice with the ancient man whom God allowed Satan to target to see if he would abandon his faith. She proclaims with Job:
Job 19:25-27—But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me.
Even at the pit’s floor with all his children dead, his body wracked in pain and the incriminating voices of his friends, Job would not renounce the One he loved and followed. Sure, he faltered and said things he regretted. Who hasn’t? Like Chandra, he suffered greatly, cried out in hurt and confusion, but in the end His Father took care of him.
Chandra knows she will see God. He is her hope and despite a rotten life she clings to Him. She recalls the times He sustains her, quiets her, answers her pleas and whispers comfort. We hear senseless reports of Christian children beheaded by Islamic fanatics—they will see God. We hear of Christian wives forcibly taken after their husbands are slaughtered—they will see God. If the world seems upside down don’t give up or conclude that its Creator is absent and uncaring, permanently gone. It is easy to trust Him with the winning team holding trophies but most of life is getting bruised on the field, taking hits and falling down. That is the place where faith is most powerful. I will see God! Those four words are the clarion hope of the believer. Say them and live.
*Not her real name
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)