“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.” Exodus 2:23-25
On earth: strain, pain, mistreatment, injustice, cruelty, anguish, helplessness that can only be groaned. In heaven: watching, listening, hearing, remembering, seeing, knowing.
On earth: restlessness, striving, agitation, bent-over despair, impossible burdens. In heaven: peace, control, calm authority, power, hope, promise, limitless strength.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:1-3,7,11
Addiction that destroys ministry and marriages, suicide that crushes the family and friends of a young man, pain and the poison of treatments that wreck quality of life, natural disasters and tragedies that ruin livelihoods and make nightmares of happy dreams– all of these man bears with heavy sorrow and longing, all of these our merciful, present God bears on high, all of these our Savior, the Man of Sorrows, bore on the cross at Calvary. He is present in our suffering, compassionate toward our pain. He is affectionate to His own whom He loves with everlasting love, to whom He is faithful always and will never leave or forsake. This is our God. In Him can we find respite, peace, comfort, and hope in our groaning. (Isaiah 53:3; Jeremiah 31:3; Hebrews 13:5)
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” Job 19:25-27
For our sake, O Lord, You are not silent and You do act. Thank You for understanding all that concerns and weighs on me, and for taking it up as Your own and working Your brightness and salvation out of darkness and bondage. May Your presentness infuse how I see and behave and minister to others, moment by moment. (Isaiah 62:1)