Oct
05

Trusting God with Your Pain

By

tearsFor the last couple of days, I’ve found myself singing, humming, and meditating on the words of Worth it All by Rita Springer. As I’ve thought on the message of the song, I keep pondering on the words, “You hold on to all my pain, with it You are pulling me closer, and pulling me into Your ways.”

 
And whether you are in a painful season of life or you are just coming through a painful season or some painful season of your past is still defining you, pain is an undeniable reality in our human existence.
 
Pain changes us.
 
Sometimes we simplify that truth into a statement that says our pain will either make us bitter or better, and as true as that statement is, let’s look a little deeper into pain today.
 
Does God purposefully bring pain into our lives? Theologically, if we go back to the Garden of Eden before sin entered, we can say that pain was never intended to be part of mankind’s existence. However, when Adam and Eve began to experience the results of their sin, pain became a very present reality for them and a future reality for us.
 
Pain is often related to sin, whether that sin be our personal sin, someone else’s sin, or the results of living in a sin-cursed world. We all have to deal with pain.
 
We get tripped up when we say that God causes our pain. A more accurate statement would be that God allows our pain. Remember that in what He had originally designed, there was no pain. 
 
At times we want to endeavor to make God look better for others or we need to resolve the paradoxes of God in our own hearts, and we say that there is a reason for everything as if everything is God’s fault. God doesn’t need us to worry about His image. There is pain in the world. It effects all of us. He doesn’t cause it, but He certainly uses it.
 
What happens when pain comes to us?
 
Well, sometimes we pretend that it doesn’t exist, quickly saying things like, “It’s okay.” “It didn’t really matter to me.” “I wasn’t close to that person anyway.” This type of reaction minimizes our pain, but it doesn’t reflect the truth and limits God as to what He can do in our hearts. God works in truth. 
 
Some people prefer to say that God caused the pain, making it simpler than walking in the mystery of trying to grow and understand.
 
At other times, we clinch our fists, as it were, in God’s face and angrily accuse Him of abandoning us or setting us up or whatever our interpretation of God is at that moment.  I rather think this response is more honest than when we minimize our pain, however the need beyond the response is still the same.
 
When pain becomes our present reality, all of our faulty beliefs about God, ourselves, and others come up in our hearts. This is a gift. If we are honest enough to look at them squarely in the eye, God can change us.
 
May I suggest the following, incomplete as the list may be,  for those of you who are struggling with some sort of pain at this moment?
 
1. Be honest with yourself, with God, and with appropriate “others”. Admit your pain, confusion, disillusionment, disappointment, anger, bitterness, and whatever else you might be feeling. 
 
2. Turn to God for help. Ask Him for His tangible presence and access His grace. Remember, He promises to be “a very present help in times of trouble.”
 
3. Live in the day. Life can be overwhelming if we try to figure everything out in the future. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us that we need to ask for “daily bread”.
 
4. Forgive and forgive again and again and again. 
 
5. Lean on others. Find a support system. Depend on understanding family and friends if you have them. Find a support group if you need one and although it might feel strange, you can even look in the newspaper for listings for local support groups. Talk to a counselor/therapist/spiritual director. We were never intended to live life alone, isolated as if we were on an island. Others can be part of your healing.
 
6. Be kind to your own heart. Sometimes we feel that we should be stronger or immune from pain, yet God made us human. 
 
7. Take responsibility for your own actions. If you are responsible for the pain, in part or in-full, take responsibility for your part and only your part.
 
8. Take a break from the intensity whenever you need to. Emotional, spiritual, soul work is intense. Sometimes we need to pull back and just enjoy the good that we can find in the moment. At times, it is completely appropriate to go for a beautiful drive or get a massage or whatever gives you rest.
 
9. Ask God to show you what He wants to do in your heart. Often that revelation is progressive, like layers on an onion. 
 
10. Trust that God is accomplishing more than you can imagine. He is going into your heart so that you can become more whole than you’ve ever been before, and if you allow Him in, He will work to teach you to carry more of His heart to the world. As much as you know how, rest in Him.
 
11. Remember that life is a journey. Although our pain shouts at us at times, healing is a process. It takes time. Accepting that is difficult, but it is the place where God can work. 
 

 

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Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    VERY NICE post! When I am in pain, no matter what kind of pain it is, I start singing and praising God, and the pain seems to disipate. It helps me remember where my help comes from. As you said sometimes He allows it. I think of Job. Poor Job didn’t know what was going on, he was just going about his daily life when all his problems started. Yet God, was the one who actually initiated it because He was bragging on Job saying that Satan couldn’t break the bond between he and God. It may seem strange, but in my mind, I can see God and Satan sitting across from each other make this “wager” Satan telling God how powerful he is and that he could turn everyone against God. I can see God laughing at him and then say to him, “Consider my man Job! He is oone of my best servants. He will love me know matter what you do to him. Do what you will, except you cannot take his life. I bet he will still be mine. I bet you can’t sway him! I haven’t lost all my family, I haven’t lost everything i owned or gotten sores all over me. I haven’t had my friends and husband tell me curse God and die. So I feel pretty good compared to that. I also consider it a compliment from God because when God allows me to go through something, I know He is there with me and I know that He is saying the same thing to Satan that He said about Job. That I can take Satan’s punishment and badgering and still love and praise God. That’s what I think of through my pain.
    God Bless you Mikki!

    PJ

  2. Eddie says:

    As always, you have so beautifully described a difficult subject. I am amazing at the gift of writing the Lord has given you. You are making a big difference in the lives of many people and I am at the top of that list. – Eddie

  3. daniel says:

    Hi Mikki!

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful post. Very much of what I have been through in life has included painful experiences which have helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. Without such trials, I fear we would live apathetic lives which settle in complacency. And w/o our own experiences, how will we be able to empathize w/ those whom we intend to help? I recognize God’s wisdom in the list you shared, and particularly liked your counsel cc. including others in the process, as well as taking responsibility for our actions w/o extending ourselves beyond that which we own. I truly appreciate your timely words.

  4. Noemi says:

    Hi Mikki!

    Just wanted to thank you again for another inspiring post.

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