Pressing Through the Pain

Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:8a

I had a pretty rough night - it took forever to fall asleep, and when my son woke my wife and I up at around 6am my entire body was screaming in pain. When my chronic pain gets really bad, I get extremely claustrophobic, and when my kids pulled up kitchen stools to try to help make breakfast I lashed out at both of them and my wife. Not long after I broke down as I sat on the couch, crying out to God for his strength to make it up and over the seemingly insurmountable hurdles that appear at the most inconvenient and/or vulnerable moments when I feel so very, very weak.

So when I saw the title of Proverb 31’s Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional for today - “Pressing Through the Pain” - I thought, “Yep, that’s my pick for today!” Her introduction could have been my own thoughts this morning:

Does it ever feel like the heartbreak in your life is trying to break you? I understand. I’ve been in that place where the pain of heartbreak hits with such sudden and sharp force that it feels like it cuts through skin and bone. It’s the kind of pain that leaves us wondering if we’ll ever be able to function like a normal person again.

There have been many moments lately when I’ve wondered if I’ll ever feel normal again (whatever normal is!) It’s easy to think that pain is my #1 problem, but Lysa reminds us all that pain is just an indicator of a much bigger issue - we live in a sinful, broken world, and as Lysa writes, pain “…is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His."

What’s the #1 way we can draw close to God and receive that comfort and strength? By speaking to him through prayer, and the great part about prayer is that we can do it pretty much at any time and in any place! We have a wonderful promise in James 4:8a - “Come near to God and he will come near to you." Will our pain and problems go away? No - this side of heaven Jesus promised we would have trials - BUT - he has overcome the world. When we draw near to God we get the very thing we need most - more of him.