This Is Why God Truly Cares About You
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14
In his book by the same title Phil Yancey asks the question, “Where is God when I hurt?” If you have never asked that question, take heart. Someday that cry may rise from your heart as you try to reconcile what happens to you with the belief that God is a good God who loves you.
The fact is that we do live in an imperfect, broken world, and the just and the unjust–the good as well as the evil–suffer the consequences of living on old planet Earth. One of the toughest assignments you will ever face is holding on to what you know is true when your emotions tell you to turn loose because it just isn’t so.
Have you ever taken time to notice some of the pictures which God gives in Scripture which graphically depict His care for you–those of a father who carries his young, or a shepherd who gently lifts the lamb to his shoulders and carries him across the raging stream, or the eagle who gently carries his young? Let’s start with the Father who carries his child, even as God, on occasions, carries us through the dark hour.
As Moses was coming to the end of his life, he knew he had to prepare God’s people for what was ahead. He reminded them of the time he had sent the twelve spies into the land and they came back with reports of great difficulty ahead. “Where can we go?” they cried, adding, “Our brothers have made us lose heart.” To lose heart is the essence of discouragement. But Moses said, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them.” He reminded them that in the wilderness God had been their strength. “There,” he said, “you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” (Deuteronomy 1:29).
At the time, did the people realize that God was leading them, undergirding them, even carrying them over the rough spots? Not at all. They grumbled and complained. They wanted to go back to Egypt. But Moses says, “No, God was carrying you all along, even when you did not know it or feel it.”
In Psalm 28:9 there is the picture of a shepherd who carries a sheep, and the Psalmist applies this to us in times when we are too weak and too discouraged to go on. Do you remember the beautiful story of the footprints, and the one questioning God asks how He could have walked with him when there was only one set of footprints? God replied, “When you were weak, I carried you in my arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27 says that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” something which often comforts me as a plane bounces with turbulence some 35,000 feet in altitude.
There is also the picture in Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11 of the eagle which carries its young when they are too weak to fly on their own. “Ah,” but you may say, “these are but pictures. How do I know God walks with me through the night hour?”
Do you recall that Jesus promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)? Again, he said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Those images of the shepherd, the father, and the eagle are meant for your encouragement.
Someday you will look back and see God’s hand when you felt nothing and know that indeed He did walk with you through the night hour and the dark valley. That’s the truth that you have to hold on to when your emotions are telling you to quit. Ah yes, learn to tell your emotions where to get off.
Resource reading: Deuteronomy 1:26-46