“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”
(Psalm 23:4, KJV).
It was a tragic week for the small city of Big Spring, Texas. I was a pastor not even a month yet. We already had one death in the congregation when tragedy struck twice in the community.
A man entered the home of an elderly woman to rob her. Once he realized she was home, he raped her, kidnapped her, stabbed her and left her for dead on a lone road going out to a radio tower. If it weren’t for a couple teenagers going out late that night to check out urban legends associated with that radio tower, the woman would have died. Seth Bailey, the young man who spotted her, was a member of my congregation.
That same week, a well-known individual to our church (also related to a few members by marriage) was struck and killed by a car out front of a hospital. This man’s wife was just released from the hospital and he went along with her from the room to the front door. As he entered the cross walk to head to the parking lot, a driver who suddenly suffered from a medical emergency, plowed right into him.
Why share this?
Because tragedy is all around us. There is suffering everywhere. We cannot escape it.
There is nowhere in the Bible that God ever promises us that He would spare us from suffering. God is not the source of our suffering. He only gives us good things. He gives us blessings and joys. He gives us Jesus.
The unique and beautiful thing about Jesus is that he also suffered in his life on earth. I think the song that has the line “What if God was one of us,” is a sad song. Because Jesus is truly God as one of us.
As one of us, what God is saying is that he doesn’t want us to suffer alone. Jesus is the One Who comes along side us. He walks with us. He suffers with us. He suffered more for us as He hung and died on the cross for us.
Jesus is still with us today. Walking along side us. Suffering with us. He also has promises of what is to come at the end of this suffering that He is walking us through, there is something beautiful and wonderful. Paul writes these words of encouragement to the new Christians in Rome, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Keep walking by faith. Jesus is walking with you through these days of suffering and turmoil. He has promised to be with us each step of the way, even to the end of the age. And when the journey is done, He walks with us through into life everlasting with unimaginable glory and joy.
Jesus, be with me through these days of trials and tribulation. Thank You for Your willingness to walk with me through times of sufferings. Bring me safely into your kingdom to for the glory that you have in store for me. Amen
Written by: Pastor Bartholomew