It's tempting for us to want to think that God just makes everything better, that He takes away all of the broken things and puts life back the way it's supposed to be. When we believe, and when we pray, in faith, we expect that God is just going to fix everything, that all temptation will go away, that the stain of sin will be removed.
But that's not really the example that we have in the Bible.
We know, for example, that in the beginning, God did not remove the shame from Adam and Eve when they discovered themselves naked. No, He covered them up to comfort their wounded souls. But even then, He still cast them out of the garden. Behavior has consequences.
So, too, in the wilderness, God sent snakes among His people to bite them with the poisonous sting of their own sin. And when they cried out to Him, He did not take the snakes away. Rather, He created for them a way to live even after the poisonous bite. He molded a bronze snake for them to look at to take away the sting.
We'd rather He just take the snakes away.
We know that in the end, He will.
But we are living in the in-between.
And in the in-between - that time between our sin and His Cross, that space between the sting of betrayal and the blood of redemption - in that time between the first day and the final judgment, we have to know that, no, God doesn't just fix it. God doesn't just take it away. God doesn't just make it possible for us to stop being tempted, to stop falling, to stop failing. God doesn't always just set things right.
But He is always right there with us.
He is always right there with us in the bushes, when we're hiding in our shame. He is right there with us in the wilderness, when we're running from snakes. He is right there with us in the image lifted up, when we're looking for life amid the poisonous sting of death.
God may not fix things the way that we want Him to, but He's always with us as we face them. He will never leave us nor forsake us nor abandon us even unto ourselves. He is always, forever, eternally, right here with us.