Where is God in My Heartache Part 2
To understand the link between your current pain and God’s message of hope requires us to take a step back, to ponder and examine some age-old teachings. It demands a deeper look at life. I understand that pain at times can make one impatient, eager to find resolution, eager to find answers. There’s a temptation to brush aside everything and anything that doesn’t appear to directly link with your current situation. With this in mind, diving into the topic of God, the Bible and the connection with suffering may seem trivial, theoretical or even irritating. And yet, I believe you’ll agree that the complexity of suffering, of heartache, requires more than a simple “quick fix solution.” I would be belittling pain if I were to suggest there is some simple, easy answer to turn heartbreak into happiness. There is no such simple solution.
There are certainly ways of distracting heartache – ways to numb it for a time, and I’m sure you’re familiar with some forms of this. Entertainment, alcohol, food, shopping… Desperate hearts find refuge in any number of numbing agents, but none of these can be mistaken for solutions. Numbness is not healing.
This website is dedicated to working towards true healing, true hope. In light of this, I invite you to consider the teachings of God in His Word, the Bible. In addition, I want to simply present you with what God Himself has offered humanity.
What Happened to the Perfect World?
The Bible teaches that this present world is not the way God intended it to be. It’s not the way He originally designed it. God created a perfect world. Further, He created a universe of perfect unity: no sickness, no suffering, no tears, no sorrow. The book of Genesis describes this perfect world and describes what became of it. If you were to read Genesis chapters 1-3 you would see the entire drama unfold. Hence, a perfect world was shattered through rebellion. Harmony, unity and wholeness were broken through rebellion, through what the Bible calls sin.
Adam and Eve were created to walk with God as well as to live and enjoy the earth; but they chose to rebel against God, to break His law and shatter the relationship they had with God. This rebellion is often referred to as “The Fall” and our world, your world, has been forever changed by it. The peace and unity Adam and Eve had with God was replaced by separation, fear and mistrust. Consequently, the peace and unity Adam and Eve had with creation was replaced by struggle, turmoil and pain. And they were not the only ones to feel it.
How Does This Apply?
This brokenness has been handed down to us. We are born into imperfection, into separation from God and into suffering. This was never what God intended for humankind. As a result, we have inherited a world broken by sin, a world splintered and worn from thousands of years of rebellion. It is a sad world. Your story, as I’m sure you feel to the very core, is no exception. To begin to understand God’s role in all your pain, you must first understand this: the world is not what God created it to be. The darkness of the world, the pain as well as the heartache, was never part of God’s original plan. And yet, here is the irony: God has been using pain and heartache to lead people back towards healing for thousands of years.
C.S. Lewis, a British writer and theologian, once spoke of suffering as the instrument God most often uses to wake people to their greatest need. In his book The Problem of Pain, he stated, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Heartache shakes us awake. Particularly, suffering tells us something is wrong.
What is the Greatest Problem?
You see, the greatest harm brought on humanity by the fall is not that we now get sick or that we now live in a world of disunity and pain. The greatest problem is that humanity is separated from God; because of sin, every individual is born severed from a relationship with God. A perfect God can have no fellowship, nor a relationship with imperfect people – His holiness forbids it. The Bible speaks of this in the book of Romans saying that sin separates every person living from a right relationship with God (Rom. 3:23). And if this separation – this broken relationship – is not restored during an individual’s lifetime, the separation will become permanent following death.
The destiny of a person’s eternal soul hangs in the balance, and there is but one short lifetime in which healing can occur. There is only now. This leads to the need for pain, for heartache. Pain jolts us awake. It shatters the delusion that life is but a bed of roses. It stops our mindless passing from season to season, drinking in the joys of each day all the while blind to our broken relationship with God. Heartache sets our mind to pondering… to questioning… to searching. Suffering begins the journey that may lead to healing. No one leaves perfect joy to seek something more. Only imperfection, only pain can stir the soul to such seeking. For that reason alone pain may be your friend; for that reason alone suffering may be the instrument God uses to wake you and lead you to the path of hope.
Pain, Hope and Healing
October 27, 2017 is a terrible day in my memory. And yet, I am so thankful for October 27th. On October 14th or 20th or 25th Colette had brain cancer. She had a tumor rapidly growing and spreading, but I had no idea. My daughter’s enemy was hidden. I could not fight until I knew there was an enemy. I couldn’t seek healing until I knew there was something that needed to be healed. The pain of October 27th was the gift that woke us. Without Colette’s pain, there would have been no steps to healing. Without pain there would have been no waking to her need.
Your present pain and suffering isn’t being belittled or waved away. I know it is crushing, I know you are exhausted and I know there is agony. I know. And yet there is hope. There is a reason for the pain. There is also a plan for the heartache.
How to Seek Hope
May I urge you to dare to believe that God truly knows the suffering you are going through and wants to do something with it? In addition, will you allow me to boldly declare that God is seeking to give you through it what you could never receive without it? Also, will you let me suggest that God intends to use your heartache to make you more whole in spite of the brokenness that now fills your life? These are bold claims, and yet I ask you to entertain the thought. I ask, just for a moment, to consider to let your mind whisper the question: “What if… what if there really is a purpose… what if there really is a reason for all agony… Can it be true? Does God really have something to do with my pain? Likewise, does God really have a purpose for all of this.”
As we continue, I hope to explore the answer, for there indeed is a purpose and there truly is hope.