A few years ago I read a great book by Phillip Yancey called “Where is God When it Hurts“. In the art of full disclosure, I began reading it on a plane sitting next to a Doctor that was dictating cases into his personal tape recorder….the entire flight. I couldn’t make this stuff up. To make matters worse, I was dealing with some physical pain at that time that was bothering me mentally as well. Add all of that together and you have a really long flight. The book is good though….seriously.
The other night I sensed that audible voice that Christians talk about. It was that “hearing from God” that we all so often ask for. Out of nowhere, the question hit me like a ton of bricks..
“Where are YOU when it hurts?”
What followed was a “discussion” and lesson with God regarding my mental state when I’m in physical pain (it happens more often then I like to admit), his faithfulness and my lack of faith in a greater plan. It occured to me that we shouldn’t ask “Where is God when it hurts” rather “where are WE?” If you’re like me, the first sign of pain sends me off a cliff. I’m a worst case scenario kinda guy so it seriously messes with my head when I am in pain and there’s no good answers.
Freaks me out
Ruins my day
So when I have to answer the question of where are you (mentally) when it hurts, I don’t like to have to answer that. I’d rather wonder where God is and why he’s not taking it away. Thus the problem. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a lesson in this pain. Maybe there’s a trust that is lacking on my part. Maybe there’s a peace in the midst of fear that needs to be addressed and visited often. Maybe that worst case needs to become trust.
The truth is that I wrote this post on September 30th. It’s been sitting in my “Drafts” for over a month. I never finished it. I couldn’t wrap it up. However today I came back to it because I’m on a three week “abdominal pain free” rally. As I re-read what I wrote just a month ago, I am challenged to ask if I have given God the glory in the midst of my reprieve. Thank you Jesus for holding me together in the storm and for being so patient with me when it hurts.