In this reflection Val Hindmarsh writes about feeling abandoned. She references both Isaiah 40: 27-31 and the words of Julian of Norwich and explores doubt, exhaustion, confusion, and frustration in the face of tragedy but also the gentle reassurance of knowing that we will not be overcome, God is listening.
The apparent distance or absence of God in our encounters with tragedy, and our feelings of abandonment in times of pain are all too familiar problems. Few are exempt. Often our experiences seem to defy us to find the words to ask the far reaching questions, far less attempt any answers. Rather we are stunned into silence. Perhaps this is why in Isaiah 40: 27-31, when asking what Israel is thinking and speaking of, God doesn’t wait for a response, but articulates what he already knows his people to be experiencing, ’My right is disregarded by my God’ they cry. Anger, perplexity and weariness soon follow frustration.
Whatever the trouble, Israel is assured that what is already known of their God and his character and of themselves is pertinent even in the darkness. God’s intent is to comfort his people and to speak tenderly. Power to the faint…and strength is given to those who ask and is received by those who wait, one of the hardest things for us to do.
Mother Julian of Norwich reminds us that, “God did not say, ‘You shall not be tempest-tossed, you shall not be work-weary, you shall not be discomforted.’ But he said, ‘You shall not be overcome.’ God wants us to heed these words so that we shall always be strong in trust, both in sorrow and in joy.”
There are times when
Like the psalmist, I cry
‘Why do you hide your face from me?’
Often I don’t understand the events
Occurring around me,
Or the anguish within,
And you seem so far away.
I want to walk and not be faint,
Run and not weary,
And even fly.
Show me how to wait.
#anguish #isolation #exasperation #loneliness #patience #honesty