What if there is no solution? It can’t be fixed. The pain of the situation feels unbearable. You want to abandon ship and run away from it all, but you know there really isn’t a way to do that, and any alternatives would just cause more pain. Deep, heart felt, pleading prayers seem to be met with silence.
Psalm 22:2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
Does God care? Is He hearing me? Is He there at all? These are some of the toughest situations or trials in life, but also some of the greatest opportunities for growth. It will absolutely not feel like a gift or opportunity at the time of suffering and the idea that you could go on living in this level of pain for even one more day seems impossible.
Consider Paul who wrote a huge portion of the New Testament. He was stricken with what he called a ‘thorn in the flesh’ that was painful, humbling, and made his mission so much harder. He pleaded with God to remove it from him, but the request was met with silence and then with a “No.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 "I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
So just what does that mean when you are absolutely submerged in pain? Paul caught on that he can’t, but God can. Through his weakness, Christ’s power was made perfect. If you are a follower of Jesus, you want to bring glory to God in all that you do, even in your pain. When Paul caught on that this “thorn” could actually be used by God, things changed. He learned how to embrace it as a gift with a purpose, and that purpose may not be evident for quite some time. But his words and attitudes were captured in the Bible and have changed the world. And likewise, your perseverance in faith will impact you and others in more ways than you will ever know. And your choice to abandon that faith likewise will have impacts. What you do and what you choose matters.
Consider someone else who met with God’s silence and felt abandoned during his darkest hour when there was no fix and the situation felt unbearable.
Luke 22:41-44 "He (Jesus) withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."
Your next step in Christ may need to be one of perseverance through a tough trial or situation that may or may not ever change. Embrace it, persevere through it, and know that although you can’t, God can. Not only can you learn to persevere through it, you can also learn to be content, a mature follower of Christ, and quite possibly, eventually, perhaps consider it all joy as James boldly suggests.
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
And again from Paul:
Phillipians 4:12-13 "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Finally, remember that you are not alone. Reach out and let’s take that next step together in Christ.