Even In Our Suffering

By: Kammi McGinty

When I was asked to write this article about the struggle we endure when God seems silent, the first thought that came to me was the familiar verse in Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.”

As I thought about that instruction in context of the times when I have been longing for an answer from God, it seemed so unnatural. We are so programmed to try to fix, to just do something, to press the go button, that being still seems so foreign. Yet I am sure if you are like me, there have been crises in your life that you have tried to rectify, just to find that your resources were depleted before the crisis was resolved. This is the case especially when we walk through a season of loss and pain.

How do you wait in stillness when your heart is shattered in a million pieces? How do you endure sleepless nights and endless tears when your hopes and dreams vaporize right before your eyes? How do you answer the question, “Why did God allow this?” when you are so confused and questioning how a God who is so loving and kind could allow me to hurt so deeply?

And how do you do this when moments turn into days and days turn into months and still the pain is pulsing through your body with every breath? I wish I could say there was a pill to take or a quick remedy to apply or a simple prayer to recite but there is no simple cure. So what do we do when we are experiencing the deep pains of life and God appears silent?

In my personal experience and in walking with others through trials, it varies, because suffering and loss is unique to the individual walking through the pain. But the common element that I have seen in everyone I have walked with is that they continue to seek, even in the silence. Some seek in journaling so they can visually trace the fingerprints of God through their suffering. Others pour into personal study to focus on the aspect of God’s character they most need at the moment. Others still focus on praying the very promise they want God to fulfill until He breaks through in answer to their prayer. And as they personally seek, they invite caring friends into their pain to pray and journey with them.

God knows our pain and suffering and He is not indifferent to it, but He also knows that even in our darkest trails, we need each other to pray and encourage one another to hold onto hope and wait for God to answer.

I am convinced that some of you reading this right now are in that kind of season. It seems doubly hard at this time of year when everyone is celebrating and you are hard pressed just to put one foot in front of another. If you are saying, “Yes, that is me,” may I encourage you to reach out to someone on staff to seek support and help as you wait for God to break through. You do not have to suffer alone. We are better together even in our suffering!