How Does God Respond When We Go Through Traumatic Experiences?

I came into the kitchen and a bird smacked into my window. I ran outside and it was lying on the ground stunned. I set it on its feet and sat with it (a cat was lurking in the garden) until 45 mins later when it flew off. The reason I’m telling you this story is that it’s a good illustration of what happened to me when I suddenly became ill. I was in shock, I was disoriented and those nearest and dearest came quickly to be with me and help where they could. I also knew God was by my side, although sometimes he felt very close and at other times distant.

The incident with the bird got me thinking about how God responds when we go through a traumatic experience, for example the sudden onset of an illness or a bereavement.

It is very comforting to know that regardless of what we face and whether God seems near of far off, he is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:8).

God deeply cares about us and the tough situations we face. He has compassion for us when we are hurting (Psalm 103:13). He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) which nothing including sickness can separate us from (Romans 8:35). In fact he wants to comfort us and does so through the Holy Spirit, also known as the Comforter (John 14:16 ASV).

I can testify that on many occasions I have received comfort from God when I have come to him in a raw emotional state. I’m in good company when I come to God with tears, questions and even anger; the psalmist did. For example, in Psalm 18:6 he says: ‘in my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to the Lord…’ and in Psalm 22:1 the psalmist felt forsaken by God and told him so. As Ecclesiastes 3:4 says ‘[there is] a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.’ We really don’t have to put a front on when we come to God, we can come when we are weary and burdened (Matthew 11:28).

God cares deeply about you when you face a traumatic experience, he wants to comfort you and to love you. Next time you feel distressed call out to him as you are, even if your emotions are raw. ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).


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