During times of sufferings
The seeds die in the parched ground, and the grain crops fail. The barns stand empty, and granaries are abandoned. How the animals moan with hunger! The herds of cattle wander about confused, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery. Lord, help us! The fire has consumed the wilderness pastures, and flames have burned up all the trees. Even the wild animals cry out to you because the streams have dried up, and fire has consumed the wilderness pastures. Joel 1:17-20
Suffering happens to everyone. Suffering happens just like everybody experiences rain and sunshine. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). From the text, Prophet Joel prayed and asked God to help them as they deal with the loss of their livestock and the harvests from their lands. There was drought in the land that all their crops have dried up and eventually scorched by the fire. When unexpected events or catastrophes happen, the common question asked is “Where is God?” if you have asked the same question when you are going through sufferings and trials in life, you are not alone for many have asked the same. When things are falling apart in life, you want to know “Why?” Just like the prophet Joel, he came to God for answers in his prayers. When you are facing sufferings in life it doesn’t mean that God left you. It is during those trying times that the Lord is closer than ever. God suffered the loss of His Son on the cross so He could tell those that trusted Him as Lord and Savior that He is right next to them as they deal with their trials in life. Instead of delving in finding the answer to your “Why” question, start to ask God, “What now?” With or without God, you will encounter sufferings in life. With or without God, when you are facing trials in life, you will always have the “Why” questions. But when you have God in your life you know that He has a purpose for your trials. With God, you have the confidence that He is working His purpose through the trials you are facing. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). Even when things seemed to be out of control, you can trust that God has His hands on the events that are taking place. Even when it seemed that His answer to your prayer was not to remove the sufferings you have, be rest assured that He is there helping you carry the burden that you have. When King David learned that his child died after he spent time praying and fasting asking God to spare his child, “David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:20). His advisers asked him why he stopped mourning the death of his child. David responded and said, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day” (vv. 22-23).