Seeing God in Pain and Suffering
All of us have at one time or another experienced difficult times, be they personal or shared. While our experiences may differ, we know they are not easy.
Physical pain, mental illness or watching a loved one suffering or dying are all experiences we would rather avoid. It’s not surprising to note that poor mental health can follow severe physical illness. The consequences are not hard to imagine and praying may not seem like an option.
When you or someone you love is suddenly robbed of everything due to illness, you can start to feel isolated from everyone we know and love. For some, the longer an illness endures, the further we may feel from God. We don’t blame God for the illness, but instead we accuse Him of not helping to make it go away. Consequently, we build a wall between us and God. Because we push God away, we find it difficult to turn to Him in prayer.
The Bible says, “ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). But every time we ask and don’t see the healing, we feel hopeless. Life is not easy, but we have forgotten that God understands that. Although turning to God in challenging times might be painful and make us vulnerable, what restores our relationship with God is releasing the pressure of having a relationship with Him in the first place. It is then, that we understand God is already with us without us having to walk through our pain to find Him. Instead of feeling that we must be strong or hide from God, it releases us instead to cry with Him, because He understands everything. Psalm 32 reassures us with these words: “I hear the Lord saying, ‘I will stay close to you’”
May these words reassure us that God is never far from our pain and suffering and that in our weakness He will be our strength.