I’m struggling with the pain again.
It doesn’t happen very often any more, but when it does, I’m a mess. I question everything I know about God, about life. I am emotionally miserable and physically wreathing. Last night was no different. I was telling Mike that in our Ladies’ Bible study we are studying the names of God and how I am not comforted that God is El Roi – The God Who Sees. Because if He sees and doesn’t intervene where terrible, painful things are happening, then He can’t be a loving God. How can a sovereign God, El Elyon, God Most High, allow pain and suffering in the world? Doesn’t He care about what’s going on? I know these are most commonly questions and thoughts of a non-believer, but I’ve been a Christian for 20 years and I still wrestle with this. I’m so glad God loves me and is patient and merciful and that I don’t have to watch out for the lightening bolts when I write things like these!
Mike and I have been engaging in really serious, intellectual conversations lately about God and the problem of pain and suffering. I have tried to figure it all out emotionally and have not been satisfied with any answers people or the Bible can give me. Mike hoped that if we put emotions aside (he’s such a man!) and looked at it from a rational, purely intellectual perspective, then it would make more sense to me. I’ve been reading the Bible and articles and books and listening to podcasts. To be honest, it does make more sense. I’m not sure I could do a good enough job explaining it, so I won’t try, but if you have questions, just comment on this post and I’ll be sure to have Mike read and answer them. He’s such a godly man, so full of wisdom.
Even though I understand it in my head, my heart still hurts. And Mike helped me realize that, really, my issues aren’t about the pain and suffering in the world, although I would love for that to end and for people to feel no pain. My issues come from the lens through which I view the world, and that lens is pain, sometimes dull and annoying, other times fiery and debilitating. I don’t want to hurt any more. I don’t want to be disabled by the pain. I want to live what most people would consider a normal life. I want to get up in the morning and not wonder if my legs will give out from the pain when I stand, or if I will be able to pick Samuel up when he calls out “Mama” from his bed. I want to chop vegetables for dinner and not have lingering pain in my wrists. I want to sit through Bible study and not be distracted because my legs feel like cement and I know if I sit too long I won’t be able to walk the next day. Please don’t get me wrong, I know compared to so many in the world, my life is a cake walk. I’m not minimizing the horrendous pain and suffering of other people. But I can only write from my point of view.
I know that God allows the pain in my life because it is the best thing for His plan, it brings Him the most glory and I trust Him. My pain brings the most good. Otherwise, He would heal me. I believe that as long as my pain serves the greater purpose of bringing souls to Christ, that I will continue in pain. And on an intellectual level, I’m okay with that. But what I really want the most? I want physical comfort. I want the pain to stop and I know that it won’t. It’s exhausting and depressing and it makes me question my loving Creator and that makes me so sad. I trust Him, but I also live the reality of debilitating pain. I have yet to find the emotional comfort I’m looking for, but I’m glad that this ongoing, seemingly never-ending trial has been seeking the Lord more, has me wresting with my faith. Because as always, the Lord shows Himself faithful and my faith grows.
If you have a moment, please say a prayer for me. Ask the Lord to send me physical help when I need it, the comforting words of a friend when the physical and emotional pain become too much for me to bear on my own. Pray for my husband and son who also live through this trial with me. Please pray the Lord gives Samuel a miraculous understanding that Mama has an owwie in her back and that even though I can’t play on the floor with him all the time, that I love him so very much. Pray that Mike would be strengthened. I’m sure living with me is exhausting!
I’m not sure what the point of this post is…maybe I just needed to get it all out. Maybe someone else needed to know they aren’t alone when they have thoughts like these. In any case, I’m praying the Lord uses it for His glory and that people come to know and love Him more.