When things are dark, there is still light

Last night, I was reading Pete Grieg’s powerful book God on Mute when a short passage hit me between the eyes.

Grieg asks his wife Samie who is in hospital with a brain tumour “if she ever doubted God’s existence or His power to intervene.”

No, she replies.

“How can I doubt God?” she continued more softly. “God is all I’ve got.”

Grieg confesses that he, a leader in the world-wide prayer movement, was finding it hard to pray because Samie was going through a bad period and there seemed little hope.

Yet his wife’s faith seemed to grow stronger despite disappointment and seemingly unanswered prayer.

Of course, that is not true of everyone. And I can’t presume to explain why someone’s faith grows in a crisis and another’s trust in God collapses.

But I find it inspiring that someone going through a dark period still clings to God.

For some people, I believe the reason they persevere in their faith is because they know God loves them and that they will enjoy him forever in heaven.  They believe, as well, that God has chosen them and has a plan for them – a plan for good.

That plan may seem grim in our eyes.  But who knows what good will come out of pain and suffering?

I think of the early Christian martyr Stephen (Acts 7).  The apostle Paul witnessed Stephen’s stoning which he bore with great courage and faith, seeing heaven open before him on the edge of his death.  Was that a factor in Paul’s later conversion?

Instinctively, I want an easy life, a pain-free life.  I believe most people do.  But God is more than a Santa Claus, bestowing gifts on us whenever we ask.

He is our Father.  He loves us and knows that we must walk through a world of challenges and pain as well as joy.  He uses everything to bring us closer to him, even though he is not the source of suffering.

Jesus called himself “the light of the world.”  He brought hope and a vision of the way things should be and will be when we are with God in heaven.

So Samie Grieg is right.  When all is said and done, all we have is God.

And that is all we need.

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