Isn’t it extraordinary that pain does not rank with “love, battle, and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature? Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.” Virginia Woolf
I seek today, to bring not just a word of encouragement, but a message that would bring healing to the sufferer. My goal is that by some miraculous means, the words I write will become the very words of God speaking personally and directly to you today.
First of all, let it be known that I do not presume to understand anyone’s pain. I do not pretend to understand the extent and nature of that pain. All I know is that there is a lot of pain in our world and I can only speak as a fellow struggler. From the loss of loved ones, loss of employment, the dissolution of a covenant relationship, to excruciating and agonizing physical pain that is experienced through illness, each and everyone of us struggle with something.
This worldwide pandemic has claimed the lives of many, but has shattered economies around the world. As of today (numbers are changing everyday), there are over 3,917,564 Coronavirus cases worldwide. Though we are thankful for the over 1,344,120 souls that have recovered from the virus, our hearts are broken over the loss of 270,720 souls.
Often the question is asked, “where is God in all this pain?” To answer that question, allow me to be emphatic and clear:
I believe with all my heart that God not only is acquainted with your pain, He feels and sympathizes with you. I believe God is right in the middle – suffering with you.
God the Father understands how you fell because like you – He also lost a Son when that Son was hung on an angry and cruel tree.
God, in the person of Jesus identifies with our pain cause He Himself experienced pain.
Scripture calls Him a man of many sorrows. He being 100 percent God and 100 % man at the same time understands your pain. He was rejected and abused, stricken, and the punishment for our iniquity was upon Him. He was tempted and tried in every way, therefore, he is able to sympathize with all our weaknesses.
Another question I often hear asked whenever there is suffering, is – “well, if He cares about my pain and suffering, why doesn’t He do something about it?” I have to be emphatic as well, in response to this one in three parts:
God did something about it!
He is doing something about it!
He will do something about it!
What do I mean by this? Well, let’s take a closer look.
God did something about your pain
A God who is willing to die to alleviate pain cannot at the same time be inflicting it.
First of all – God is not the instigator of our pain. On the contrary, He has demonstrated to the world how far He would go to deliver us from pain. In the same way He look down from heaven and saw the affliction of His enslaved people in Egypt, He looked down and saw the affliction of a painful and dying world.
He, in both cases, was moved with compassion to heal and deliver them. And that’s exactly what He did. In the case of His enslaved people in Egypt, He raised up Moses to bring Israel out of Egypt. In our case, He sent Jesus to rescue us.
The scripture says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.” John 3:16
The death of Jesus on the cross is God expression of love for each and everyone of us.
Jesus’s death for humanity is not only the solution to deal with pain in this life, but it has also paved the way for God to ultimately end pain.
God is doing something about pain
Right now – He weeps with us
Right now – He walks with us
Right now – He is helping us
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave us a promise. At that very moment, He warned us about the pain and suffering we would experience in this world. He also told us to take courage and look to Him for strength. He encouraged us to come to Him when we are heavy laden.
He told us that He will never forsake us, never leave us. He told us that nothing will be able to separate us from Him – not even sickness or death. He empowered us with hope. He invited us to see that our light and momentary suffering was creating and preparing for us a weight of eternal glory.
The glorious and beautiful exchange which we have with God through a relationship with Jesus is that we get to experience “the God of all comfort… who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” Oh isn’t that wonderful?
God is going to do something about our pain
We are precious in the sight of God. He has set His affection upon us. We were created for this one thing – to be with God forever – enjoying Him as He enjoys us. There is coming a day when heartaches, pain, sorrow, depression, sickness, and every form of anxiety and fear will be no more.
It may not be today- but that day is coming when you will look back on all your struggles and say to yourself – Wow! On that day you will see how your light and momentary afflictions pale in light of your eternal weight of glory. So, cheer up… get your hope up… and rejoice! Though you see dimly now, when you come face to face with Him – you will see fully!
Everything is moving toward God’s expected end. He’s got the whole in His hands. All of history, the ups and downs – the rise and fall of Kings and kingdoms – in His hands. The power of His irresistible love, the riches of His infinite goodness and the unsearchable greatness of His knowledge – are all working together to bring us into rest.
It is my prayer that you would experience the first installment of that rest today – as we together await the full installment on the day of His return.