One of the earliest memories I have of my father is from our first home on Remora avenue in Brookpark, Ohio. I was around four years old or younger (we moved after that). I was sick, and he was holding me in his arms, walking through the house, praying for me and gently rubbing my back to comfort me. Until dad died when I was 42, I knew him to be a loving and caring father. I will always cherish my memories of him.
I can recall when my own children were sick, whether serious enough to see a doctor or just the everyday childhood “skinned knee.” Likewise, I tried to be a compassionate father. If they needed serious attention, I was blessed that my wife is a pediatric nurse and a handoff to her always led to the proper solution. However, if comfort and prayer was what was needed most, I felt qualified, and I have many memories of holding, praying, and trying to comfort away childhood tears.
Our Heavenly Father is no different than the above scenarios. In fact, He is much BETTER than the best of earthly dads. One of the 13 suggestions in response to pain and unanswered prayer given in the final chapter of “God, Where are you?” is to “Grow closer to God in your pain.”
Sadly, we sometimes feel a need to “blame God” for our struggles and tend to “shake our fist” at Him rather than reach out to Him in our pain. The book gives plenty of perspective to help you with some other attitude than to hold God responsible for your pain.
Instead, let God comfort you in your pain and with your heartaches. Draw close to Him. He wants to comfort you as your loving, Heavenly father. Sometimes we don’t need to “figure it out;” we just need to let our Heavenly Father know that we hurt and need comfort.
Jesus is eager to soothe us in our pain and calm our fears. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 invites you to reach out to God in prayer today: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…”
In your pain, heartache, disappointment or disillusionment, simply pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort me soul-deep with the love and presence of your Holy Spirit today. Thank you for loving me, caring for me, and meeting me where I am.” Then, trust that He has heard you and will heed your prayer, as a Father in Heaven who loves you. For this, give thanks.
For an in-depth consideration of hopeful and Biblically-sound alternative explanations to surprising benefits of pain, watch the sermon series online in the CLC sermon archives and get your copy of “God, Where Are You?” from the publisher (CreateSpace) or Amazon.
One thought on “A Surprising Benefit of Pain”
Stan, I remember your Mom and Dad and Remote Ave well. What a beautiful, precious man of God he was. Pete used to say, Uncle Johnny was the best example of a Christian man he ever knew. Guess the Apple didn’t fall far from the tree. May Our Lord continue to bless you
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