Trusting in Painful Times

Published on 21st September 2015
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Blog post by Andrew Consiglio, Leader and Director of Youth Fellowship

The last time I saw him he didn’t speak to me with words but with a broad smile. Our community meeting had just finished and Gianni’s devoted parents were getting all the kids organised into the car whilst I stopped to chat with them before we all rushed off for Sunday lunch. Just a few weeks later, we received the heartbreaking news that the little boy had passed on to eternal life.

What do you say at such times of immense grief? Nothing much really. We felt just a bit of the pain his parents had to endure. We supported them with prayer and care. Those of us on pilgrimage in the Holy Land couldn’t attend the funeral but we heard that it was a testimony of faith and courage which only the Lord can give.

To a greater or lesser extent, we all pass through times of pain and suffering, questions and struggles. Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to any one of us is, tuning in to the insidious whispers of the evil one, we succumb to ancient serpent’s temptation that God doesn’t really care.

What do you say at such times of immense grief?

In His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus states clearly

”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death’ (Mark 14:34).

What is remarkable is not only the content of Jesus’ prayer of surrender but how He addresses God at that most agonising moment ‘Abba Father’ (Mark 14:34).
Like our Lord, we do not deny that tragic moments, difficulties, hurt and pain cause us to be ‘overwhelmed with sorrow’ even if it is not directly willed by God. But with Him, we call our God ‘Abba’ even then.

Because we know that although we don’t always understand, we have confidence in the Father’s love, goodness and care. Yes we know that the Lord turns everything for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). And little Gianni can already see and experience in fulness what we see and experience for now, only by faith.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8)