It all started last Sunday, when the sermon at church opened up a wound in my heart. As I fought to hold back the tears, the hurt in my heart lead to the tears spilling down my cheeks. In my embarrassment, I timidly wiped the tears off my face, trying not to draw attention to myself. A friend put her arm around me as I fought with everything in me to control the emotion spilling over my heart in the form of tears.
Oh God, why have you allowed me to feel this pain again? I thought I’d dealt with it. I thought I had victory over this area! Why now? Why oh Lord, why?
My heart was sore all week because of the great pain that was resting on it. I echoed David’s words in Psalm 69:1-3:
“Save me, O God, For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”
Frustration creeped up in my heart that I was having to deal with this pain again, and I expressed that frustration as I sat across from an elder from my church this week. I swallowed my great pride and asked to meet with an elder to discuss how to appropriately handle pain and suffering. He pulled out his Bible and read the following verse:
“Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls, all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.” (Psalm 42:7)
What is described in the latter part of this verse? Waves.
What is true of waves? They keep coming.
The elder encouraged me not to be frustrated that The Lord had allowed me to feel this pain again, but to cast all of my pain back upon The Lord.
Beloved, I know the theology of suffering. I could sit across from you and declare that God ordains suffering (Read Job), that we are commanded to share in Christ’s sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:5), that we are to suffer in a way that brings God glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), suffering is for our ultimate good and will one day result in an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). I know all these things in my head, but this week, I struggled to believe them.
The pain almost clouded over my heart. I wanted it to go away. I wanted to throw up my hands and give up. I wanted to just snap my fingers and be with the Father in heaven (for selfish motives, because I didn’t want to carry the pain). I can possess good theology all day long, but if it doesn’t push me closer to Christ, it is worthless. What good is thinking rightly in the mind, if I don’t honor The Lord with my affections as well? The mind, the heart and the spirit must all be united in growing closer to Christ and in bringing glory to His name.
Finally I fell on my face before my Father. I was honest with Him and expressed my frustrations to Him.
“God, this pain isn’t redeemed yet, but I chose to trust that You are faithful.
Because faithfulness is one of your characteristics, I know that You will be faithful in upholding your promises to me.
While I cannot look in the rear view mirror and see your faithfulness in this specific situation, I can trust your heart that your are faithful.”
I am so thankful for the friends and family members that lent me their faith this week when I was weak. I am thankful that the Lord extends His great care to me, even though I am completely undeserving.
Dear One, I don’t know what the cares of your heart are, but rest assured, your great Father in heaven does. Oh does He love you! He deeply delights in caring for you! This week I foolishly ran around to people trying to find comfort instead of heading straight to the Father’s throne.
I chose to live out Psalm 55:22
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you.”