Finding Hope in Our Pain4
I have a confession to make. There was a small piece of me that was buried deep down that used to believe that if I was a believer in Jesus Christ; life would be a “full of roses.”
I am not certain where that belief originated. It certainly didn’t come from the teachings from the pulpit at Hope Covenant Church. I certainly did not read that life would be “full of roses” in the Bible. Maybe it originated from channel surfing when I would stumble upon the “health and wealth” teachings of numerous pastors found on various religious channels. These individuals would preach that once your life was in the hands of Jesus all would be well.
What a lie!
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Once your life is in the hands of Jesus, there are countless “roses” found in that new life; forgiveness of sins, peace in your heart, and an eternal home awaits you in Heaven just to name a few.
But a life “full of roses” with no problems, no heartaches, no pain, no tears – not a chance!
It’s been a tough last couple of months at the Pollard household filled with lots of tears, lots of questions, and even at times, lots of doubts.
On February 21, we attended the memorial service of Michelle’s grandpa, Roger Peetz. Roger was a navy veteran, husband to Yvonne for 60 plus years, and just an outstanding man. I only knew him for the last 8 years or so, but he was one of those “good ol’ boys.” He would help anyone in need and would give the shirt off his own back if needed.
One week later, February 28, we held the service for our son, Jack. We had learned that on February 25, for reasons that we have yet to understand, he quietly passed away in Michelle’s womb at 34 weeks.
Those 3 days that transpired between his death, birth, and funeral, challenged my faith and tested my trust in God and I questioned if He was truly a sovereign, gracious, and loving God.
I want the world to be perfect. No hardships, no conflicts, no pain, no death, no tears, etc. But let’s be honest. No, let’s be biblically truthful! Perfection, a life removed from tears, and hardships are not going to occur this side of heaven.
I don’t know why I falsely believed that my family would be spared from hardships, troubles, and pain. The scriptures are full of reminders and truths about the “little world” we live in.
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”Psalm 107:13, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.”Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
“You will have trouble,” “an ever present help in trouble,” “they cried to the Lord in their trouble,” “shall trouble or hardships”…and that is just a few of the MANY scriptures that we find reminding us that trouble is around the corner, a phone call away, or a knock on the door away.
You. Me. Us. Make no mistake. Trouble, in all forms and discovered in circumstances and situations that we can only imagine –EXISTS!
But here is some great news!
This “little world” that we live in. This world that is grossly full of troubles, hardships, and pain so gut wrenching that it keeps us up at night – will soon pass. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even years from now, but someday, pain will no longer exist – EVER!
Let the ointment of Revelation 21:4 be the medication for your soul:
“'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I don’t desire pain. I don’t look for pain. Sometimes pain just “shows up at our door.” It is not greeted with a smile or even welcomed in. But it barges its way into our homes and often causes our lives to become chaotic, ransacked in fear and pain, and even causes us to question God’s sovereign plan or even His existence. But should it?
It’s not like Jesus didn’t tell us that pain exists – He made it very clear!
May I offer some encouragement to you? In the last couple of months I have walked through a dark valley and I am guessing this won’t be my last. Much of the time it has been difficult to find the ,”joy in the hardships,” or embrace that ,”testing of my faith produces perseverance,.”
But here is what I do know and have witnessed firsthand. Jesus is real. Jesus does care. Jesus is loving and He is good.
How do I know you ask?
In those dire moments when tears stream from your eyes like a leaky faucet, when you toss and turn countless times in the night because you can’t sleep from worry or the pain covers you like a wet-blanket; it’s during those times when Jesus softly whispers your name. He holds you close to His body and says, “My child, I love you. I know it is hard to understand right now, but trust me…I am in total control. I am the beginning and the end. I will have the FINAL say!”
The promise in Scripture never has been that you or I would be spared pain; the promise is that we would never go through pain…alone. Trust Him. He can handle it. He’s got your back.
“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”