“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22).
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
These days, I can’t read verses like this without thinking about the devastation left by Hurricane Ida, Haiti, the nightmare of Afghanistan and the Taliban, the rising number of Covid cases in our country and the world around us.
I can’t help but wonder what it would be like a Christian in Afghanistan who have been visited by the Taliban telling them, “We know who you are and we are coming to get you.”
These Bible promises of God’s comfort and care read differently when I place myself in the place of Afghan Christians in a country ruled by the Taliban.
I know. This has been a stressful and exhausting season. And, instead of getting easier, it only seems to get worse.
What more can happen? I thought we were almost out of this whole Covid thing. Instead, we’re seeing some of the worst numbers. And to top it off, Afghanistan, Taliban, Haiti, Hurricane Ida. How much more, Lord?
Come on! God, what is going on?!?!
If you’re feeling that, I get it. I feel that too.
So, what are we supposed to do with God’s promises when living in a world that seems out of control? What’s more true? God’s promises or the reality of our world?
First thing to know: God’s promises are true. When we go to God with our burdens, he takes care of us. He gives us rest.
If God gives us his care and rest, how come I don’t feel it right now?
The truth of God’s comfort and care doesn’t mean life is without its trials and difficulties. Trusting and believing in God doesn’t mean that God removes us from the world that is full of suffering and trials. Trusting and believing in God does mean that God will use suffering and trials to bring about his kingdom. God gives suffering and trials purpose and meaning. Nothing is wasted. Not one tear. Not one prayer. Not one hope.
The thing that we want is for God to establish the fullness of the kingdom of God in our lifetime. We want to see God’s fullness right now, in our lifetime. But God doesn’t think in life times. God’s kingdom purpose is multi-generational. It is eternal.
We get to be a part of God’s kingdom building that spans the generations and lifetimes.
I don’t get suffering and trials. I don’t like them either. I hate the thought of Afghan Christians under the threat of the Taliban. I don’t know how martyrdom is good.
But, ultimately, my job isn’t to “get it” and understand God’s plan. My job is to trust God’s plan and join God in establishing his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. And, that’s your job too.
Take your burdens to God. Let him know how you’re feeling. Let him know your hurts. And receive his rest and care. Be reminded of God’s eternal, multi-generational kingdom plan. God’s plan is much, much bigger than our lifespan.
Trust God. Be encouraged.