Life can be hard — extremely hard at times. Sometimes the weight of our trials can seem unbearable. For the Christian, we know and believe that God is in control of all things — the good, the bad, and even the ugly. We acknowledge and repeat, “For those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28), gripping on to the promise and waiting for the hard times to pass.
But not every hard season turns over so quickly, and many times we can be left wondering what God is doing, and even if he hears our cries while we roam the wilderness. It’s hard to hold our gaze heavenward day in and day out, especially when we don’t see any change in our circumstances.
My husband and I were going through a season of drought, of wandering in the wilderness. We knew we weren’t alone, but it felt like we were. We had the head knowledge of God being near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), but still our hearts longed for relief. Family medical diagnoses pushed me to the point where I just wanted to say, “Enough.” I wanted rest and peace from our suffering, and I wanted it now.
“If God is in sovereign control of everything in my life, why does everything in my life feel hard and painful?”
We know that God is in sovereign control of all things. Each day he wakes us with a new sunrise (Lamentations 3:23), each day his eyes see every sparrow that falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29), each day he knows who will cut us off while on our commute to work — the moments we will be tempted to give into our sin, or to despair in our current situations. We sing songs of God’s sovereignty, and we see evidence of his control throughout nature (Psalm 24:1–2).
But in the moments of trials we want his sovereign hand to turn the page, to remove us from the situation. In our despair, our hearts and minds can leave us feeling hopeless — God’s not listening. Why is this happening to me? At some point the pattern of bad news after bad news can start to feel cruel. If God is in sovereign control of everything in my life, why does everything in my life feel hard and painful?