Standing Strong Through the Storm daily devotion, posted July 31, 2018 at: http://www.opendoorsusa.org
Ron Boyd-MacMillan shares the story of Sister Lin and family from North Korea. As Christians, she and her husband prayed for a child for years. After many years she finally conceived. They asked God for a safe delivery because it was now the severe famine period of the mid-1990’s.
Her husband went to search for food but came home weeping. All he could offer her was bark from a tree to make soup. It was not enough to nourish a woman with child. Then her husband went farther afield to find food, and was shot to death by soldiers as he foraged food from the garbage bags on a train. She was now alone.
When contractions started, she lay on the ground and gave birth to a dead baby boy. She named him after her husband and buried the body. From there she began to walk north and crossed the river into China. A Korean Christian family in China nurtured her back to health.
Telling Ron her story, she asked, “Can I forgive God for making the world this way?” Many of us, if honest, would acknowledge that we often have doubts about God when we see the suffering and pain in our world, just like Sister Lin. But our doubts may end up bringing God closer.
Ron answered her poignant question with another question, “Why are you still a Christian?”
Sister Lin replied, “First because my Lord died young and alone in excruciating pain without knowing why either.”
Ron says, “It’s true. Even Jesus on the cross asked ‘Why?’ God with all His power knows how to share our suffering too.”
Sister Lin’s second answer was, “I have gradually come to see that God’s care is everywhere to be seen, if I can look beyond my own suffering.” She pointed to the Christian family risking their own lives to help her.
Ron concludes, “She still feels the pain from her loss. The causes of her suffering have not been taken away. Neither has God given her an answer as to why He didn’t save her husband and child. But she has taken her doubts to Him and entrusted the mystery of her suffering to Him because she trusts Him and He has come close.”
Mark 15:34 — At three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Psalm 31:5 — Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
Luke 23:46 — Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
I Peter 5:6-7 — Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Psalm 95:6-7 — Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Ah Lord, my prayers are dead, my affections dead, and my heart is dead: but you are a living, loving God and I commit myself to you. Amen.