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The Pain We Feel

Pain is a one syllable word that seems to punch us in the gut with such force that it knocks out everything on the inside and leaves us hollow, helpless. We struggle but without God, it seems that it is a losing battle.

Emotional pain hurts, and there is no easy way for us to remove its presence from our hearts. We try hiding our pain with busyness or hardness. We try drowning it in alcohol or covering it with medication and drugs, but it does not go away. It is like a buoy that rises to the top of our emotion, and we feel as though we are left to struggle with it alone.

King David understood what it meant to fight the pain. He wrote several Psalms where he poured out his darkest moments. In Psalm 6, David said that his bones were in agony and his soul was in deep anguish. In Psalm 18, he pled with God to turn his darkness into light. And in Psalm 25, he said that he was lonely and afflicted, and that the trouble in his heart had multiplied.

In these same Psalms and others, David did not simply struggle alone. He turned to God and poured out his pain. In these same three Psalms, David took action, and his way of overcoming emotional pain can help us when we struggle.

1. David turned to God and asked Him to rescue and heal him. He believed that God would deliver him because of His unfailing love (Psalm 6:2-4).

2. David cried out to God in his deepest pain. He longed for help from God. Psalm 18:6 says, “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help….”

3. David trusted God with the matters of his heart. Psalm 25:1 says, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust” (NASB).

I am learning that when I recognize a twinge of emotional pain to turn to God, cry out to Him, and then trust that He will take care of the problem.

So if someone close to me says hurting words or does something painful, the goal is not to get angry or lash out with my own set of painful words. The goal is to turn my heart to the One who can make a difference within me. Put aside thoughts and feelings, and cry out to God for strength, wisdom or whatever I need in the circumstance. And finally, determine in my heart to trust God with the problem no matter what.

It is not easy, but I am learning that God operates from a platform of love and in painful moments I can give him everything that hurts. He is good at taking the pain and healing us under His care. Pain may leave us hollow and helpless, but God can help us through it all.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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