Stories of Suffering

This past week you may have been thinking about what I’ve been thinking about because it’s kind of hard to miss with all the news coverage: the Syrian refugee situation. For years we’ve heard about the conflict, actually it’s a conflict that has been going on for a very long time, so this isn’t anything new.  But finally things have gotten to a point that people are leaving.  They know it’s not safe and as hard as it is to leave the place you’ve known your whole life, when there’s no sign of things changing or improving any time soon, at some point in time you have to make the choice to stay or go.

So it got me thinking about the rest of us and our situations in life.  Your suffering and mine may not come anywhere close to that of the refugees, but that doesn’t make it any less real.  We can experience many of the things they do such as betrayal, displacement, loneliness, fear, hurt, and loss, but for us it may be related to our job, a relationship, a family member, a friend, our home, our health or even things that we can’t quite put a finger on like depression and other mental/emotional challenges/imbalances.  As I was thinking about this I read a verese that spoke to me about the tough choices the people of Syria face and our own challenges.

Habakkuk 1:5 says “…For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.”  

Don’t give up hope that God can work even when things look dire.  You don’t know everything so you can’t know all of the motivations and intentions of all of the people involved let alone all that God has going on behind the scenes.  Believe that there is hope and an amazing future in the works.

The challenge is in the rebuilding though: when the dust settles the question is will you allow what happened to hold you back and define you forever or will you choose to move forward?  Don’t let your past hold you back, instead apply what you’ve learned from your struggles, rebirth and recovery to the rest of your life, and when given the chance to support someone else who is going through something similar, don’t forget that you had help along the way too, or be the helping hand you wish you had had.

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