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It’s difficult to get past the first stanza of the lyrics of JJ Heller’s, “Your Hands,” without recognizing the words as your own . . . your own prayer, your own voice calling out to God Almighty:

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

More often than not, our circumstances won’t change, pain and suffering may linger, but God’s purposes and glory is never thwarted. But, it’s in the “enduring,” in those times when there is no light at the end of the tunnel, when we’re stuck in an “in between” place, we need to know one thing and one thing only: God is in control. We need to know He loves us and we need to know that even if He doesn’t take our pain away, He’s with us . . . always. When we’ve had enough, when we simply have no strength to stand . . . we should kneel . . . and keep on kneeling until the answer comes. And through those trying times, when we grasp at the goodness of God, we must ask ourselves, “How much do we owe to pain and suffering?” (L.B. Cowman-Streams in the Desert) Through the darkest hours, we can know that God is at work and victory is sure, and faith will ALWAYS require more than we’re able to handle . . . our weakness gives way to God’s grace that develops a faith in us that is more precious than gold:

“Where were faith, without trial to test it;
or patience, with nothing to bear;
or experience, without tribulation to develop it?”
-Frederick Meyer