Where is God in Our Pain?
Our Spiritual Life group continues to be a highlight in our weekly programs. Recently one our Interns shared their story with our students. They spoke of how they’d struggled with depression for many years and how their faith had actually deepened through this battle. An interesting thing to note is that their depression hasn’t actually gotten better. They shared how God has not healed their depression but that they had found Jesus “at the bottom of a lake.” This was life changing for them to know that they were not alone in their struggle and that Jesus wasn’t just in the sunshine and hilltops of life. It was quite amazing to see this intern courageously share their story. It was even more amazing to see our students hugging him and thanking him afterwards.
That night it was my turn to lead the students in a prayer exercise. I reiterated to the group that when we seek Jesus in prayer, sometimes his answer is to take away our pain, like with the 2 youth who had been healed recently. Other times, like in the case of our Intern, Jesus wants us to know he’s right there with us in the midst of our pain.
At the end of the night, as I was driving students home, my last stop was the student who’d had his eye pain previously healed. He began to share about some really hard things he’s facing. He felt confused because “Why would God heal my relatively minor physical pain but then not change this really terrible situation?” It was one of those God moments, as I realized I had answered his question earlier that night. God does not always remove the pain from our lives but He will be there with us in the midst of the pain. I suggested to him that perhaps his physical healing was one way Jesus was reminding him that he cared about this young man and would not abandon him in the midst of this difficult situation. I saw the ‘Aha!’ light go on in his head as that answer sunk in.
Some days this job can leave you wondering if you have accomplished anything at all, and then there are days, like this one, which leave me thinking, “Wow, I really get to do this! I can’t wait for next week!”
- Derian Julihn