Reading:  Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.


C. S. Lewis wrote The Problem With Pain in an attempt to provide an intellectual response to one of life’s great questions: why is there suffering? The question serves as a roadblock to faith for those who cannot reconcile a loving God with a suffering world. Lewis refuses to absent God from suffering. He finds God particularly close when darkness falls. I’m reading Lewis this morning as I am preparing for the burial of a young man who took his own life. There are no easy answers. Words never seem so anemic or inadequate than in that moment they reach to touch a grieving heart. Yet God is as active in sorrow as He is in our greatest joys. He gives us the gift of presence. He draws near. I think Lewis was partly right when he said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” But God also knows how to be still, and let His presence bypass all regular means of communication. I have found the inner knowledge of His nearness to be more effective than whispers and words. I’m counting on that presence to help heal broken hearts at a funeral gathering this afternoon. His presence enfolds His power, and His power alone gives grace, help, hope, and peace.


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