Have you ever experienced something in life so painful that you wanted to shut down and never turn back on? Have you ever felt so crushed that, at least for the moment, you couldn’t imagine ever getting back up?
For me, it was the physical trauma that accompanied my kidney damage.
I will never be able to adequately describe it to you. This was pain like I never knew existed. My body went into spasms, and the pain was focused on my groin area where it felt as if someone had stuck me with a knife.
The spasms came with ferocity every two or three minutes. The pain was so intolerable that involuntary screams just came out of me, for thirty-six hours straight.
As I screamed, I couldn’t understand why someone in the hospital didn’t do something to relieve my pain. My son Ethan explained it to me: “Dad, they’re not worried about your pain right now; they’re worried about saving your life. When you’re stable, they’ll give you something for your pain.”
After a particularly horrible and longer-than-usual spasm, in tears I looked at Luella and told her I wanted to die.
Maybe you won’t experience acute physical suffering like mine, but in a fallen world, you will inevitably encounter some form of physical, emotional, or relational agony.
The deterioration of your health. Suddenly and inexplicably losing your job. The death of a loved one. Being abandoned or betrayed by someone you thought you could trust. The collapse of a lifelong dream.
So what do you do when the pain is so deep that you can’t think of anything else but the pain?
For me, in between the screams that the spasms triggered, the only words I could muster were, “God, help me! God, help me! God, help me!”
Why was that simple, almost cliché, prayer so needed and so comforting? Because the One to whom I was crying was not distant; He was near.
The central lie of Satan to all God’s suffering children comes in the form of this question: “Where is your God now?” The lie embedded in this question is that our suffering is clear evidence that we have been forsaken by God.
Meanwhile, the Bible presents us with this promise from Joshua 1:5 (and numerous other passages) – “I will not leave you or forsake you.”
I’ll be honest. Suffering defeated me. There were times when the pain was too much. But in all the emotional and spiritual ups and downs, on the good days and the bad days, whether I fought or succumbed, one thing was sure.
My Lord was with me, and he is there for you, and there is no struggle without or war within that will ever drive him away. And his presence guarantees that in your suffering, you will have everything you need.
So when the pain is too painful, with so many things to worry about, you don’t have to waste your spiritual and emotional energy on the fear that you will be forsaken by your Heavenly Father.
He is in you, he is with you, he is for you, and he will never leave.
- Have you ever experienced a moment in life when the pain was too painful? What specifically about your suffering made it so overwhelming?
- If you haven’t experienced something like this yourself, who do you know who is experiencing, or has recently experienced, a moment like this?
- What are some other lies that Satan wants you to believe about you, God, and life in a fallen world?
- What are some other Bible verses that counter the lies of Satan and can encourage us in moments when life doesn’t make sense?
This content was originally posted by Dr. Paul Tripp on www.paultripp.com and was republished with permission.
Joshua’s Outpost is a source for men to find encouragement to be bold in their faith and walk with Jesus Christ.
oh, how I feel for you and pray you never experience this again. Suffering does allow us to know those horrible valleys and the ‘valley of the shadow of death,’ the dark night of the soul. I have had many both physical, emotional and spiritual. God’s presence far from me, that’s the worst. Crushed, betrayed and shunned by family. Total loss of reputation and the blessings God had given me. Then, I wasn’t wanting death, I wanted revenge in the worst way possible. I dreamed of horrific ends to people I really didn’t know. I wanted to crush my friends who became aloof or just enemies. Physical pain I have known since my 20’s and have begged God to die repeatedly. The worst of the worst pain is gone, only by the grace of God, but others have replaced it. Now, I press on, thanking God in all situations, and praising Him, staying in His Word. The emotional and spiritual battle has gone on for years–from valleys to the hind’s feet on high places, and then dropped into that horrible shadow and losing all hope. God bless you, and great post.