It’s breathing down your neck when you finally drag yourself out of a sleepless slumber. Hot and desperate fumes of dreams meeting their dooms mixes with a reality that now lays shambles. A heart once energetic with life and joy can barely find the will to beat. Breathing in the next breath is a miracle that you wish wouldn’t come. Pain. There is no one single word to describe what it is, but rather what it does. It slices you in half from your mind to the deepest recesses of your soul. Pain vacuums your existence, leaving you as nothing more than a lifeless form on the bottom of your bedroom floor. You’re so consumed with trying to put together the your insides that are falling out all around you, that you can’t even see the next step to take because the hurt and brokenness cover the road before you. Pain. It has the power to devastate and destroy. Whether the red bloodstained hands are those of a loved one or yourself or outside forces, it’s still there. And no one can ease it.
Your dearest friends and family wish they could ease it so they offer fruitless but well-meaning advice. They cry with you, but their tears do not come from the aching hole from which you find yourself drowning in. They try to warm the coldness with their embraces and their tender words, but nothing. You turn to the Bible. The pastor. The worship music. Another podcast. Another blog. Another version of the Bible. Another pastor. Another worship song. Peace eludes you like a cat and mouse game. Where is this Prince of Peace? Where is this Comforter? Where is this Healer? You’re dying inside and out and where is he to be found?
In the silence. In the pain. In the miracle that awaits you. There He is. How do I know? Because I know pain. This past spring I experienced physical and emotional pain where I, for the first time in my life, didn’t know if I wanted to breathe one more breath. If it hadn’t been for my two children, I don’t know if I would have wanted to see another sunrise. Hope murdered. Faith shaken. Dreams stolen. Future darkened. I knew religion like the back of my hand so I dug into the Word and found His words that ministered, but yet the pain didn’t stop. I found solace in “It is Well with My Soul”, but the pain remained. My pastors. My friends. My podcasts. Nothing could erase the anguish. And finally I gave up. I gave up trying to put myself together and I fell on my knees in utter despair, begging God to please take it all away.
In a gentle voice buried beneath the internal screaming I heard, “No, child. I will not take this away, but I will walk you through this.” Those were not the words I wanted. This year I died. My self-righteousness met its demise. My pride. My selfishness. My control. I had to lose it all to gain life. Death is not a joyous process, but it is a process nonetheless that we must face as Christians.
And after the death you find the miracle of pain. Over two thousand years ago there was a miracle born out of a woman’s pain. We celebrate it every Christmas. We celebrate the miracle of His pain every Easter. Miracles can come out of your pain just like miracles came out of mine. Life comes out of death. You could be in your darkest hour crying out for God to take this cup just like Jesus did so many years ago. But even in this most dire of times, I ask you to respond like Jesus, “Not my will, but yours Lord.”
God doesn’t have a plan B. He doesn’t need one. He has a wonderful plan for your life, but it entails trials and tribulations that knock the wind out of you and leave you for the birds. If you can’t hope in anything, hope in this: in the great words of Perry Noble, “If it ain’t good, God ain’t done.”
In the next few posts, I would like to share what I’ve learned through the walk of pain towards miracles: just a few nuggets of wisdom that helped me make it from moment to moment, day to day, weeks to weeks and now looking forward to life again.
Our merciful Abba, you do not waste anything. You capture every tear and every piece of our broken hearts and lives and create a masterpiece. We can’t always see the reasoning, but Jesus help us to trust you. Help us to believe. Holy Spirit, please comfort and remind us that you are with us even in our loneliest moments. Thank you that you never ever leave us or forsake us. Bless those that are broken, Father.
In your precious and holy name,
Merry Christmas, y’all. Your miracle is on its way!