Some things you don’t think about until you’re older… like finding God in pain. Even if you don’t believe in or want to really know God, pain has a way of turning our thoughts toward Him. In crisis, we often look for answers outside of ourselves, beyond what we’ve tried before.
I don’t like to show or talk about my pain, honestly. Maybe because I’m mostly an introvert and don’t want to inject my pain into someone else’s circumstances. But even more, a tenacious truth won’t let me go: God is good, and He’s greater than my pain.
He has healed me so many times of various issues, small and large. He’s also met me in the midst of my pain and questions with wisdom and strength to overcome. Each time I learn something new about this One so pure, and about myself. So, maybe I should talk about it…
Closer Than the Pain
One summer morning I woke, barely able to move. I tried to reposition, but it only worsened the sharp ache in my head, neck, shoulders, and back. Lingering in bed, soaking in my Father’s love, has long been my favorite way to start the day. So, despite the pain, I closed my eyes and set my heart on Him.
“What do You want me to know, Father,” I whispered in the dark.
“Lean into the pain,” He whispered back.
Gently, slowly, I turned my head to press into the most uncomfortable position. As I filled my mind with the truth of God’s love for me, as I recalled His unwavering faithfulness, the throbbing began to subside. As I pressed into the pain, I found Him there, closer than the pain.
Lean Into the Pain
I didn’t know “lean into the pain” is a fairly well-known phrase. Lying in the silence, His words were fresh bread to my tired and hungry soul. They resonated to my core and I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to more than my physical pain.
Just days before I’d been talking with friends about how, as disciples of Christ, we need to press into the awkward. As the world around us is dividing itself on nearly every conceivable level, we must purpose to lean into the pain, confusion, and questions within ourselves and others. We need to talk about how we are finding God in our pain.
Isn’t this the example Jesus gave? He didn’t shy away from hard moments. In fact, Jesus’ love for His Father led Him directly into the pain of others — and the pain in His own destiny. In love, He carried the hope and healing of His Father into that pain, changing the world around Him.
Paul had so deeply encountered God in his pain and suffering that he wrote these words:
So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles,[a] fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love.” (Romans 8:38 TPT)
Believe the Best
On the whiteboard by my desk, I’ve written three words: Believe. Laugh. Love. God has spoken to me about these words many times over the years. This morning He whispered: Believe the best of Me, Amy. Believe the best.
No matter the form your pain takes, may I encourage you today to lean into it and believe the best about God. He isn’t busy or distracted. He’s not waiting to see what you’ll do to then decide what He’ll do. God is in the pain with you. Loving. Speaking. Full of power to heal and make you whole. Believe the best about Him, and receive fresh bread to move forward.
If you know someone who needs encouragement, please consider forwarding this to them. Bless your day!