In Fall of 2018, I studied the book of Ruth with a group of ladies. We used a resource called, The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James. In her introduction, Carolyn asked the question, “Is God Good to Women?”
When I first read the question, it felt offensive. My initial reaction was, “Of course God loves women!”
I tried to continue reading, but the question kept nagging me. So I paused my study in order to give the Holy Spirit space to show me the source of this disturbance.
I realized that I had an assumption that God loves women, but a flood of thoughts, doubts, fears, questions, offenses, injustices and frustrations filled my mind.
Abuse (Sexual, Verbal, Physical).
Bigotry. (less respect, less value, and lower salary than men)
Ohhhh…this world can be tough on women.
It can be harsh, hard, and just plain evil.
When we consider all of these factors, it’s easy to start to question God’s goodness to women. It’s easy to wonder, “If God is good, If God is good, why does suffering exist??”
The theological answer to this question is:
Suffering is real and it does not go away.
But, God doesn’t cause suffering.
Suffering exists because sin exists.
Perhaps you’ve heard this answer and it doesn’t offer you much consolation. So I want to move on the next question. If God did not create suffering, and God is good, why doesn’t He stop my suffering?
There is no pretty answer to this question. Many people wonder why God allows evil to continue to exist in this world and the common resolution many respectable scholars come to is that God lingers in order to provide everyone the opportunity to come to a knowledge of Himself.
The truth is, we don’t know why God lingers in creating the new heaven and the new earth, but there is one consolation I can offer.
God has not left us alone in our suffering!
God is present with us in our suffering to HELP us THROUGH it, while Satan is present in it to destroy us as a result of it.
This is why I believe James says,
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
One day, when we meet Jesus face to face, our suffering will end because we will no longer inhabit sinful bodies or live in a sinful world. But for now, God wants to redeem our suffering and impossible situations so that they benefit us- so that we gain faith to stand against Satan’s mission to tear us apart.
You might say to me, “Sharie, I don’t feel God in my suffering!”
I hear you! When I struggled through postpartum depression, I didn’t feel God either. My suffering didn’t feel like joy. I didn’t feel my trial strengthening me. I felt like I was being torn apart.
But, God sent someone to stand beside me through my trial. My husband listened and loved. He did not always understand, but he remained faithful and spoke truth into my life. I didn’t always like the truth he spoke because it wasn’t always gentle.
Sometimes he wanted me to get out of bed when I just wanted to wallow.
Sometimes he told me I was a good mom when I truly felt like the worst one on earth.
I asked God to fix me, but when I prayed, rainbows and butterflies did not invade my soul. Instead, I started seeing a counselor three times a week for a few months. Then, once a week for months. And progressively I walked out of my darkness.
You see, when we don’t “see” God in our lives, I think we need to open our eyes a little wider and redefine our miracle.
Is God to Women Podcast
This blog is a series of 5 blogs which coincide with my Overcoming Monday podcast season on Ruth. On Episode 36, (released on March 5, 2019) my husband and I address this question, “Is God Good to Women?” from the perspective of Ruth and Naomi. You don’t want to miss it! Listen Now on iTunes and Spotify.
How to redefine Your miracle
Instead of looking for an exit out of our situation or an angel from heaven, perhaps we need to accept God’s ministry to us in the form of a person, friend, or professional counselor.
“Who is offering help and assistance?” and “Am I willing to submit myself to their service"?”
If you need proof that God is good, and even specifically good to women, take some time to study a few women who God valued and honored:
God helped and healing Naomi through Ruth’s kind devotion and service. (Book of Ruth)
God provided a home for both Ruth and Naomi through Boaz’ generosity. (Ruth 4)
God honored Mary and Elizabeth by allowing them to mother John the Baptist and Jesus. (Luke 1)
Jesus protected the woman caught in adultery from the Pharisee’s scorn. (John 8)
Jesus elevated the woman with the alabaster jar as an example of true worship. (Luke 7)
Jesus treasured a poor widow whose proportional generosity outweighed many others. (Luke 21:2)
Jesus encouraged Mary, Martha’s sister, to learn from Jesus when this was primarily a male role. (John 11)
Jesus asked John to give Mary a home (his mom) when he returned to heaven. (John 19:27)
If you need a boost today (this week or month), get out your Bible and dig into these examples. Put yourself in their life situation and ask yourself:
What is this person going through? What is their life situation or struggle? What has happened? What is their inner struggle?
Next, ask, what is their need?
How did God meet their need?
And now, look at your situation and ask the same questions. Is God meeting your need in a way you didn’t notice before?
Finally, write our a prayer of response to God.
© 2019 Sharie King. All rights reserved
I hope this blog has helped to encourage you overall, but especially if you are going through a time of suffering. If you have a story you’d like to encourage others with, please share it with us in the comments below. The next five blogs will also center around the book of Ruth if you would like to study along with the blog, use this next week to read through the book and I will write another blog/teaching next week. I hope you have an amazing week friend!
With Love, Sharie King