Do They Care?
One of the hardest things in life I’m still coming to terms with is the harsh reality that even in the midst of suffering, life moves on.
Depression, health problems, relational issues, pain, mortality, and many other poverties are given no break.
People will wake up, go do their business, come home, and sleep as if nothing has happened.
Especially living through a digital era, the isolation from suffering strikes even harder.
Facebook feeds roll by.
Messages pop up and flash by.
Instagram likes accumulate.
Snap streaks will start, maintain, and end.
And many other digital communication/outputs will disaffirm suffering and continue to contribute to the loneliness that further raises the question of:
“Does anyone really care?”
Sure, this world has a lot of great things to offer. Experiences to have. Relationships to build. Things to do. I don’t want to downplay any of that at all.
But sometimes life is just hard.
I’m facing that right now. A hard life.
Every morning, I wake up, and there are so many things that need to be done, — serving for church, leading a life group, working on programming assignments, reading textbooks, eating 2 meals a day (cause I skip breakfast), exercising well, not skipping vitamins (every other day that happens), etc…
While in the gaps of these things, I face problems that I didn’t think I’d face in my life — working through difficult conversations with people to maintain or end relationships, witnessing medical bill prices that cost several times more than monthly rent, thinking through health circumstances and mortality.
When one thing seems to end, two or three more events pop up.
I’ve been thinking through everything, and the question I face is:
“What do I do in the midst of a personal storm?”
When the storm isn’t simply just a rainfall, but many elements of weather bashing upon me — rain, wind, thunder, hail, all layered atop one another.
I feel as if the complexity reaches a point where things can’t be fixed by expressing a single emotion. “I’m sad” or “I’m angry” gives no credit to the process. There are moments I feel an urge to stare off into the distance, silently wetting my eyes as I suppress the urge to cry or sob out of my heart.
Turning to others for help doesn’t seem to be an option, because it complicates things. They’ll add more factors making things harder and worse.
And people are already going through their own personal storms. I can’t selfishly hurt more people who may be struggling or wrestling through something even worse than I am. It’s best not to do anything.
But in the end, all I feel is helplessness. The platform I stand on seems to break apart, and I lose a grip on reality.
I want to fall away in my helplessness, but my heart knows that there’s something more.
“Where do I stand in the midst of the storm?”
I stand in God’s presence.
Well, I’d be lying if I were to say I was standing in God’s presence. Sometimes, it’s more like running away or being swept up by the storm. And as I flail for a foothold, I black out and find myself waking up, lying on solid ground, gasping for breath.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
- Romans 8:26
Anxiety and stress may not disappear, but I know six truths about God that I can stand firm on.
1. God is sovereign.
I only know so much of what’s going to happen in the future. The events that will line up on my calendar. The possible appointments I have with doctors in the future. The next release of a famous movie.
But God knows every future step I take. Every breath I breathe.
Even when I’m blind to what is coming next, God guides me as a faithful shepherd and promises so much for me.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Psalm 23:1–4 ESV
I must not lean on my own understanding during this time, because I will get wrecked if I try to survive on what I feel.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5–6
Rather I must have faith and trust in God. Faith is hard to have, but knowing how he’s pulled through in my life through patience and perseverance, and how he’s grown me in suffering is something to, unintuitively, rejoice in.
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:18
2. The God of all comfort is there and has a reason for my suffering
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3–5
3. God is good
Time and time again, I find myself falling short.
But somehow I’m reminded of God’s goodness even in my deepest sorrows. In my moments of pain and grief, I see the past history that God has written in my life, and with it, the continual promises that He has fulfilled and will fulfill.
And that’s a truth that I cling to constantly.
4. God is faithful
I feel like the prodigal son many days. I’m running this way and that, playing hooky with entrepreneurship and friendships and hobbies, and looking distractedly at everything except God.
And God waits so patiently. Ever faithful. He’s waiting for me to come to the door, knock, and welcome me back home.
And that’s completely unfair.
Yet that’s so joyously unfair.
A blessing. His grace, love and forgiveness that He faithfully gives to me everyday continues to snap me back into the reality of how amazing He is even through all suffering.
I am pulled back regardless of whether I desire Him or not, and rooted back in His love.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8:37–39 ESV
5. God chose me first before I chose Him
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
- John 15:16
6. God is completing the work He started in me
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
- Philippians 1:6
I don’t know when suffering ends, or when I’ll escape the depths of problems in this world.
In fact, I think life is going to always have problems, and a huge part of it will be being able to deal with it as life moves on.
I do see glimpses here and there. Moments where I receive unreasonable forgiveness. Moments where I experience scandalous grace.
And I know God will complete the work He started in me.
It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow. It might not be until the day I die, when I go to God (a thought I still wrestle with).
But He will complete it. That’s His promise. And that’s something I’m still working through to hope in.
In the end, I think it’s valid to have those questions of doubt. Whether people care, or where I stand in the storm. It’s important to work through those natural questions, feelings, and emotions.
But it’s also crucial to not let those thoughts have complete control over my mind, or else I will easily fall.
Though the walls in my life should’ve fallen long time ago they haven’t, and I can only thank God because of it.
So whilst standing with God as my firm foundation:
- I continue to remind myself of His truths.
- I continue to preach it to myself and to others.
- I continue to proclaim the testimony that God is writing in my life.
I will continue to fight the good fight and run the race, because no matter what, God cares.
And that is enough for me.
Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Whether you enjoyed it or not, I hope there was something to take away.
As I finish off this blog post, I want to share a song that I listen to everytime I go through troubles that may or may not help you. This is one of my favorite songs because it clearly depicts my life and God’s testimony in it (omitting out the moments I fight against Him). It’s a song that hopes in only one thing amidst all and cries out desperately to God.
I hope you enjoy.
Walking around these walls.
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands.
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet
I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
I’ve seen You move, you move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
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