Written By J. Koon, Malaysia
I lay face down on my bed, soaking my pillow with tears. Crickets chirped and whirred, cloaked in the darkness outside my window. I drew the warm blanket over my head, wanting to keep the world out. I did not want anyone to enter my sorrow.
I could still remember what he said over text message that morning. The black letters proclaiming doom on the lit screen of my iPhone, echoing in my mind. “I’m sorry, I think we are just not working out. Let’s call it quits.”
Things had not been rosy for some time, but I had tried to hold onto the crumbling relationship. He was starting to tire out. And now he had just given up on us. As I came to terms with the break up, I was not just mourning the end of the relationship, but also the hope of a future together. All those dreams, hopes, and plans seemed to lie in the dust, like a demolished castle in the air. Instead of a lifetime together, I faced the prospect of being on my own again.
“God, this is not fair. Why is this happening to me? I have served You faithfully and I have tried my best to obey You. I don’t even consider dating people from other faiths, following what Scripture prescribes. Why me, God?”
Have you ever felt this way? We know that we are children of God, saved by grace, but when troubles come and we cry out to Him desperately, we feel “cheated” by life.
Being in the world but not of it, we are not immune to the effects of sin while we live on this earth. Sometimes, we may suffer because of our own actions or sin. Other times, Christians undergo suffering because of persecution for their faith and devotion to Christ. It is ironic that doing the right thing may lead to negative repercussions! But the difficult times that we go through can remind us that we are temporary sojourners in this fallen world, and we have a greater hope ahead.
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
We may not fully understand God’s purposes for our pain and suffering. But we can find solace in the truth that He is a God who can empathize with what we go through. We have a loving God who has experienced life as a human with all its attendant sorrows and joys. We have a Savior who bore our sin as He suffered and died on a cross. He is not a distant, faraway God who does not know pain.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53:3)
We need to place our trust and faith in this loving God. As incredulous as it may seem, God— our Father in heaven—has a plan and purpose for our lives. As finite humans, we may not fully understand the workings of an infinite God, but as long as we understand that He has our best interests at heart, we know we can trust Him in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. In fact, it is often by going through difficult times that we come to gain maturity, wisdom, and experience. We only need to trust God and continue to obey Him even when the going gets tough.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
As I cried out to God that evening, I felt a comforting presence fill the room, and I was reminded that I was not alone. The next two years were not easy, and it was often a struggle to obey God and yield my life to Him. By God’s grace, this season of singleness was an opportunity to draw closer to God and learn to trust Him even when friends around me reckoned me foolish for not following the ways of the world.
Through this difficult time, God has proven that His presence truly defines the blessed life. I am grateful for His providence that has since brought a fellow believer into my life. But more importantly, I am thankful that God has taught me to put my ultimate hope in Christ alone, instead of in humans or in circumstances.
Are you feeling downcast or heartbroken today? Be comforted and know that we have a loving heavenly Father who will never forsake us or leave us. Cry out to Him and trust in Him, for He has your future in His hands.
This article was first published in the author’s church in-house publication. This version has been edited by YMI.