Friends. I write this with a very heavy heart. Pain. Confusion. Rejection. I want to talk about all of that today. I am not here to make light of any situation. I am not here to try to bring perspective to your problems or circumstances. I will save that for a later day.
I am here to say it is okay to be broken.
It is okay to hurt.
It is okay to be angry.
It is okay to feel confused.
It is okay to ask questions.
The Bible never promises us that once we give our life to Christ we will no longer deal with pain. The promise is not if you love God you will have more good things happen, or if you love God the bad things aren’t really bad. No! Those are not God’s promises!
The promise is that God will take the bad things and He will work them for good in totality (Romans 8:28).
People in my life are struggling right now. They are enduring a lot of pain. I found myself wresting with God all day just questioning why all of this is happening. Why do good people have to endure this much pain? In a way, I feel helpless because there is nothing I could do or say that can fix their situations. So I sat on my couch and prayed. I prayed harder than ever today just trying to figure out the why of it all. How can there be purpose in this? What good can come from this? Those are just a few questions I was asking God and I found myself demanding answers.
In the middle of me praying I received a call from my dearest friend, Carly. We talked for a bit about pain and she said something that I have been really meditating on ever since, “naturally we want to make sense of the things while we are in pain but we need to continue to talk to God instead of shutting Him out.” It is so true and it makes total sense. In the midst of pain we want to know the purpose of it all. We want to know why this is happening. We want some explanation in hopes that it will make the situation a little more bearable. However, the reality is we may not know the purpose of our pain until after the storm. It can be weeks, months, even years until we can finally say, “I understand why I had to go through that.” Another reality is that we may never know the why of some of our pains. We may never get the answer we think we deserve to know. Or we may get an answer but it wasn’t the answer we wanted to hear.
So, as I was thinking about the pain people close to me are going through I thought, maybe God’s answer to us is to keep asking more questions. Maybe He wants us to keep digging—not to necessarily find out the answer to our problems like some sort of mathematical equation—but to dive deeper into our relationship with God. By diving deeper into our relationship with God we can know Him, His character, His love, His mercy, His grace for His children better.
I don’t know why couples are going through months and even years of fertility treatment just to go to their weekly doctor appointments to find out they aren’t pregnant once again. The emotional, physical, and mental rollercoaster of dealing with the anticipation of hoping you are pregnant just to be told no week after week.
I don’t know why I woke up this morning to a text from a friend saying her mother-in-law is not doing well and to be praying for her. She just recently found out she was diagnosed with cancer and she is fighting for her life.
I don’t know why my dad is going through a long, painful, rejection-filled journey of trying to find a job. Why God? My dad is overqualified, an amazing leader, one of the hardest working people I know, yet job interview after job interview…nothing.
I don’t know the why of it all. Just like I don’t know why you are going through the pain you are enduring or someone close to you is enduring.
While it is okay to be hurt, it is okay be angry, it is okay be frustrated, it is okay to be confused, one thing we cannot do in times of pain is to shut God out. We need to invite Him into our pain and press into Him.
Take your pain to Him.
Take your tears to Him.
Take your frustrations to Him.
You can even be mad at God, but be mad at God to Him. Tell God, “I feel angry towards you right now God, help me. I don’t know why this is happening; I don’t know why this storm is getting worse. Help me through it. I need you.”
In times of pain it is easy to put up that wall and shut everyone out, but the person we cannot afford to shut out in our pain is our Heavenly Father. Sometimes I really believe God brings us to this place of complete destruction and brokenness so we can experience the true joy of deliverance. That is why it is so vital to invite God into your pain. Invite God into your brokenness so He can use your circumstances and make it into something beautiful.
Remember, Jesus knows the pain you are going through. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.” We live in a broken and sinful world. Pain is inevitable. But, the beauty of Jesus is that He knows pain firsthand. Just look at the cross and you will be reminded of the pain Jesus endured for you. He bore that cross for us!
He sees you hurting.
He sees your brokenness.
He wants to walk this battle with you, so open your heart and invite Him into the pain. Invite Him into the darkest areas of your heart. Allow Him to give you a foundation of hope in the midst of your pain. God can provide you with that foundation and His love will carry you through any storm.
Jesus Christ did not suffer so we would not suffer, but so that when we suffer we would become more like Him. Sweet friend, I am not trying to make light of what you are going through. But I am here to say that everything that is happening in your life externally good and externally bad is molding you, shaping you, contouring you, and polishing you into the image of Christ.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18).
Kelsey Adam is a wife, author, and follower of Christ. She loves people well and is an expert at bringing shy people out of their shells. Currently she and her husband Jason are students at the Kanakuk Institute.