Suffering In Silence
At times we walk through life suffering in silence. You can be facing an illness, marital issues, a painful past, or struggling with a situation and afraid to share it with anyone or have no one to share it with. Who do you turn to or where do you go for help?
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
I remember one morning on my way to church I heard this scripture in my head as if God were reminding me my help comes from the Lord. At the time I was going through a difficult situation which was causing me a great deal of suffering. It's in moments of suffering we're tempted to doubt the goodness of God, fear the outcome and react to those emotions by running, hiding, giving up, lashing out, or making unhealthy decisions that impact us longer then we intended them to. It breaks my heart knowing people suffer in silence as I was one of them. I know what it is to walk through life with a heaviness on your heart with no end in sight. It’s tiring and painful. There are many people like that. They can be people we see, people we talk to, people we live with, they’re all around us. If you're one of them, please know that even though others may not see the true condition of your heart, God sees and cares about your broken heart. Let scripture remind you as it reminded me to lift up your eyes and cry out to God who is there and hears you.
Suffering isn't easy, but I came to realize God was trying to teach me something through it. I asked this question... What are You God trying to teach me? Through my time of suffering God was teaching me to trust Him at a deeper level. I've been through difficult situations before and thought I trusted Him already but when going through intense physical pain, trust is truly tested. Do I trust Him in this uncontrolled pain? I began to realize with each painful episode came the opportunity to trust God at a deeper level. It was a choice of trusting in Him despite the pain I was experiencing. When my daughter would begin a "new" friendship I would say... "Remember, time always reveals character.” When you spend time with God in the ups and downs of life, His character is revealed. Who He is and what He does. Trust is built on character revealed and the more you trust, the more your heart is open. Are you spending time with God? What is He revealing to you through this time of suffering? What is He trying to teach you?
This was all a process which takes time. I started to see God working on my behalf to bring something about in me that couldn't be developed any other way. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." The "good" is what conforms us to the likeness of His Son Jesus. I saw that in my own life. There was something in Jesus that I needed to display in my life. What was it? What was God working in my heart? Pursuing that isn't easy because suffering can cause you to shut down, question things and give up. When I look at Jesus, I saw one who didn't give up or give in even in His suffering. Jesus kept His Father in view as He walked in obedience the path set before Him. During this time look to Jesus as your example while God works in your heart. There’s nothing we walk through that Jesus can’t relate to.
I wish you can hear the compassion in my voice, the sincerity of my heart as I tell you God has a greater plan in your suffering. It’s not the end of your story but the beginning of a new one. God is creating something new in you and birthing it for others. Allow God to be the author of your story as He carefully writes each page personally. Allow God to unfold the beauty that comes from a crushed heart after He’s done with the inner work of your wounds. He's a good Father and wants to be all to you. It breaks God's heart to see you in this condition and He has not turned a blind eye to your suffering. Open yourself to God, you can trust Him with the inner rooms of your heart that you’ve closed off to everyone, even yourself. It’s in opening those rooms, you give God access to do only what He can do.
Even in your suffering, He’s there.
Even in your suffering, He’s teaching.
Even in your suffering, He’s working.
Even in your suffering, He’s creating.
God is there with you. Teaching you to trust Him as He works on your behalf. Through it all He’s creating something new in you for others. Our suffering is always coupled with others in mind. God wants to use your suffering and what He has done through it to encourage others who are walking in a time of suffering themselves. We don't have to suffer in silence, we can cry out to God and share our hearts. It's to Him we express our suffering, release our pain and hearts heal. Will you lift up your eyes and seek God today?
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10 NIV
Song: I Won't Move by Life Church Worship