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Matthew 25; Psalm 143

Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is guest writer Ralph M.

As Christians, we probably all know by now that like any other relationship, the initial honeymoon phase turns into the gritty reality of maintaining that relationship. The initial spell of appreciating all that God has blessed us with opens up to the ups and downs of a relationship, each of which can either make or break the relationship. Being a Christian does not shield us from the darkness and brokenness of this world. We can get hurt. We can suffer. Pain and brokenness is fair game, and allegiance to a religion does not seal us off from experiencing such. In such days, months or even years when it seems like the Lord has turned His back on us, or is seemingly putting everyone else ahead of us, what do we do? When darkness is swooping in like mad and it seems like all hope is lost, what good can knowing God's mercy or grace or righteousness be?

This is when the writer of the Psalm calls out for God's help and mercy. This is the time when the spell of a new relationship is over and he calls for help, for companionship, for a way out. Though we do not know if God ultimately gave him what he expected as help, we know that God can hear us, even if He seemingly does not do anything to alleviate our suffering. For many people, it seems cold and distant, but as the master of time and space, we are not privy to what God will do in the future. Sometimes, alleviating our suffering may not be the answer that God is giving us. Sometimes, that suffering may not be alleviated in this life. That is the realization that this world is not our home and that our eternal fulfillment may not be seen by the naked eye until we come home. This is one of the crosses that we are to bear everyday for the rest of our lives, a lifetime of hurt and suffering that may or may not be alleviated until He comes again. In this thought of despair, let us lift up our eyes to God and pray that we will be given an eternal and heavenly perspective on our suffering rather than our hope and faith be choked by the thorns on darkness, evil and earthly suffering. It may be hard, but it gives us a light to look forward into the glorious future we have in Jesus.

Jeremiah Vaught