Blog First, you.

day I want to return to the profoundly important spiritual issue of pain and suffering. However, rather than exploring the whole great and terrible scope of it, I will now address a very specific kind of pain and suffering:

Yours. Not mine, not his or hers or anybody else's.

Yours.

The main point I want to make is very simple: your pain is not nothing. It's not. Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, your trials are trials, pure and simple, and they matter to God.

Maybe you reading this are a fifteen-year-old who is experiencing your first breakup. That is a terrible pain, and I feel deeply for you.

Or maybe you are a young entrepreneur whose business is struggling. What a terrible time of stress and uncertainty, and I pray everything God turns things around for you.

Perhaps you are a parent of a chronically ill child. May God give you the strength and love you need to see your little one through sleepless nights and doctors appointments.

Now at this point I will state an obvious Truth: there are far worse pains than these. I'm sure you know that. I don't need to list examples; you know plenty already.

But here's the secret: do you know who is telling you that your pain is nothing, and that you are a spoiled brat for worrying about it?

It isn't God.

It's socialists and the devil. Possibly in that order, but let's focus on the spiritual.

God cares deeply about your pain. He is with you in it. He wants to help you through it. He may remind you in the midst of it of its relative smallness, and that is a good reminder. But to believe that God is viewing your pain with dismission and contempt is not only wrong; it is unbiblical.

In 2 Kings chapter 6, we find the great prophet Elisha amongst a group of disciples cutting down trees for a new lodge. In the middle of a chop, the head of one man's axe pops off and flies into the nearby river. The man panics and cries to Elisha, 'Oh sir! It was a borrowed axe!'

First world problems at their finest, right? And yet:

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed Elisha the place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the axe head float. Elisha said, “Pick it up.” The disciple reached for it and picked it up.

The same God who parted the Red Sea to save a nation from slaughter, also saw fit to perform this tiny little miracle to save a faithful man from having to buy a new axe for his buddy.

Isn't it just astonishing? That the Creator of the universe cares so intimately about our little troubles? That Jesus himself, who suffered agony and despair the likes of which not one of us can fathom, genuinely wants to comfort and strengthen and guide us in the midst of our trials?

And he does.

Satan is the great accuser. It is he who is telling you that you are weak and ungrateful and cowardly when you feel sorrow or fear or failure. It is he who tries to turn you against yourself or against God, and who tries to isolate you in your pain and make you face it alone, instead of running to Jesus and clinging to him with all your strength and finding comfort and worth in his love.

Take it from someone with a terrible load of experience: Satan is good at what he does. How easily he can twist our thoughts and turn our faith on its head! How desperately we must cling to Jesus, our one and only source for Truth and comfort and hope. For life.

Your pain is not nothing. Jesus is not indifferent to it. He loves you, and he so desperately wants to be there in the midst of your trial, as the pillar which keeps you together, and the shelter which keeps you from the rain.

Furthermore, Jesus wants to teach you in your pain. Upon the cross, Jesus taught us. With his death, he brought us life. On the darkest day in history, Jesus shone light into the hearts and minds of billions. Give your pain to him, and he will bless it and turn it into weapons with which you can wage war on the darkness of the lives of others.

Bring your pain to Jesus, however small you know it to be, because in the most sublime paradox, it is not small to the Almighty.

Of course you and I as believers are meant to care deeply about the sufferings of others, and to do whatever we can to aid them. But in order to properly do so, we have to be okay. Jesus himself was the master of self-care. He ate, he slept, and above all, he always made time for his relationship with his Father through prayer.

And beyond that, God wants you to be okay for your own sake. He loves you. He likes you. He is grieved by your pain. He wants you to love the life you share with him, and the first step is always bringing your sufferings to him.
 
Oct 2, 2022
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Very good reminders. We are on God's mind. In fact, I don't know how many of you have heard this song before, but when I first heard it, I almost cried. It was such a good reminder. Me On Your Mind by Matthew West

 

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