hurting, aching, crying
In the flow of a rapper, burdened by fame. cries of a poet, fighting for injustice. of a mother’s sacrifice to bring her child into the world. women beaten into submission by drunken husbands — neglected as children, abandoned and left to survive on their own. loneliness of a college student surrounded by people, but so alone.
We all have our own versions of this story. we all ache and hurt and cry in those places, where we think no one can hear us. where life feels hopeless and there’s no cure to the wrecked life. The place I used to retreat to when I experienced this pain was under my covers, sniffling softly so my roommate couldn’t hear me. Tears flowing onto my pillow, hands clenched, jaw locked to keep the sound from escaping …
In the midst of this pain, I would often find myself questioning the God I loved with one question: WHY. It would take different forms depending on my circumstances, but my cries would always start with why. Why injustice. Why couldn’t I do better? Why did he hurt me? Why is life like this? WHY WHY WHY?!! I found refuge in hurting, in the aches that my heart endured — listened to sad heartsick songs to justify my emotions.
Obviously an unhealthy lifestyle and way to tackle my pain …
fast-forward and I have overcome that particular season in life, and I no longer faced pains from the heart on a daily basis. Instead, I found myself confronting an old-new pain. One that’s all too real and physical. Back, shoulder, and neck pain that I used to have a little bit of; but now it’s hitting me full throttle, meeting me every night no matter how much Bengay or VaporRub I slather onto my back.
Often I find myself lying in bed, doing my best not to curl up in my favorite sleeping position because that only wrecks my shoulders and back more. My arms are stiffly at my sides and I try to ease the tension from my neck so I could just fall asleep and have enough rest for the next day. This is the new place I find myself in, in the depths of excruciating physical pain; uncontrollable by medicine and earthly solutions.
But there is a difference in this situation. You see, it is in this pain that I find the most peace. To confront an ailment that is totally out of my reach on a daily basis — the only true solution to this is an utterly reckless and desperate reliance on my Savior. I hang onto the promises that are in His hand because they are the only things that are my saving grace in the midst of my constant insomnia. Through all of this, I can find a renewed joy in the little things. In moments of pain and relief, I can rejoice because it is through His strength that I can carry through.
It’s just like Paul says:
“we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5)
So you see friend. Pain is only a natural part in the journey that is life. Embrace it, but don’t drown in it. Lift it up, so it will burden you no more. Let it teach and guide you through life. And most of all, YOU CAN OVERCOME IT.