Every person who reads this post has been deeply hurt by a person or group of people, or perhaps through something that has happened unexpectedly in this experience called “Life.” The pain and disappointment we feel when this world fails us can hurt so deeply that we wonder if we will ever recover; if we will ever be free from the scars. If, as you read this, you feel this is you right now, please know that you are in good company; you are not alone in your pain. Do not fool yourself into believing that the picture perfect moments found on Instagram, twitter, and facebook from everyone else’s life are the norm and you are the one who is left out. The sunsets, vacations, new cars, happy families, great jobs, and endless glimpses of perfect moments with great friends are exactly that, glimpses of the beauty God designed and desired for all of us to enjoy. But everyone who posts all of the perfect moments of their lives on social media experiences the same dissapointments, heartaches, shortcomings, and bad days as you do; but those moments are not ones anyone willingly memorializes. We don’t normally celebrate the bad times or share the moments of our despair for the world to see because it’s simply depressing. However, it is in the midst of those despairing experiences where the greatest hope can be found…and that is why I believe God allows us to walk among the thorns. It is in our most desperate hours, in our most helpless moments when we can truly catch a glimpse of the glory of God (which is more than a fleeting moment in a photograph).
Paul wrote: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:18-23 ESV)
Did you catch that? The true life, one that is free from pain and disappointment is one that is waiting to be born; we’re not there yet. Jesus said: “…in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
But what do we do in the midst of our pain? How do we connect with the God who authored these truths and who created us to be liberated from our wounds? We get alone with God and lay it down at His feet. But what do we do when we are so hurt we don’t even have words to pray? We get alone with God and we still trust in Him to know our thoughts, our desires, and our struggles.
Paul continues: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:24-27 ESV)
God hears you when you go to Him. God knows your pain before you utter a single prayer; even when you can’t utter a single prayer. You are not alone. Lean on Him in your most desperate hour knowing that nothing escapes His will and you are His child. Do what the Psalmist did over and over again. Cry out to God and be honest with Him in what you are feeling and then honor Him as your Father, your Savior, and your King. Live today in the beauty of God’s presence and guarantee of His promises to you. His love never fails.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1-6 ESV)