A few days before I flew back to the states for Christmas break, one of my friends in Haiti lost his little baby girl to pneumonia. It was unexpected, it was unforeseen, & it is heartbreaking. My fellow MOH staff members and I received the news and we were devastated – for his loss, his pain, and the fact that he would not get to see his daughter again this side of heaven.
His beautiful little daughter took her last breath on Sunday, and Tuesday evening at the worship service I saw him out of the corner of my eye worshiping. Hands surrendered high. Tears flowing down his face. Real, deep pain. But in the midst of that real pain? Real worship. Worship for the fact that the Lord Jesus is who He said He is – that He is our comforter, our provider, our peace in a world of chaos, our calm in the storm, our Savior, our Father.
When I saw my friend at church out of the corner of my eye, hot tears started streaming down my face. I was wrecked with the beauty of my friend worshiping God in the midst of the deepest pain. I was wrecked with the amount of trust he has in the sovereignty of God.
I flew home on Wednesday, heart still heavy for my friend and the pain he is experiencing. At my home church in the states on Sunday morning, I learned that a woman’s husband had unexpectedly passed away the week before. I was in the worship service and directly in front of me, I saw her worshiping: hands surrendered high. Real, deep pain. And again, in the midst of that pain? Real worship.
Hot tears flowing down my cheeks again. These people are walking through some of the deepest pain they have experienced, but they know they aren’t walking through this alone.
It’s easy to say we believe in Jesus Christ & His sovereignty, but when the waves come and we are tested – living out our faith becomes much more than words. It’s our response, our actions. It is us looking at the painful, heartbreaking situations and saying, “God, I trust You. I may not understand why this happened, but I trust You. I trust that You will be glorified in this, and that in my pain, You will comfort.” It’s 100% false to say that as a Christian everything in our life is easy, pretty, simple, fun, or even understandable. In fact, there is Biblical support (John 16:33) that we will have troubles, but that Christ has overcome the world.
I refuse to pretend that the Christian life is roses, butterflies, & happy thoughts. That. Is. False.
But you know what the Christian life is? JESUS: Grace. Salvation by Jesus alone. Absorption of wrath for all of the evil that we have done. An exchange of righteousness. The gift of the Holy Spirit – who is a constant companion & intercessor to God the Father on our behalf.
And you know what? Jesus is enough. Valued reader, would you believe that? Jesus doesn’t ignore or downplay our pain. He comforts us in it. Jesus doesn’t tell us to think happy thoughts and everything will be okay. He knows every thought we think and feels every emotion we feel and He wants us to come to Him with our pain, burdens, and questions. I promise you, He can handle your questions. If you aren’t sure about this Jesus thing, would you seek Truth? Would you, from a posture of genuine desire to learn Truth, seek to learn more about God, Jesus Christ, the Cross, and the implications of the Cross?
“Continue seeking Him with seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.”- C.S. Lewis
It is evident that pain is real // and so is Jesus.
Surrender; worship // This has become one of my favorite photos I have taken here.
Also, my fellow Mission of Hope staff members & dear friends The Johnson’s wrote a great post about some of the challenges and also the beautiful things they have seen here in Haiti. Would you mind reading it here?