What I've Learned About God During Pain

Originally published Wednesday, 26 June 2024.

No matter what I write over the next few moments, it won’t be enough to explain the splendor, wonder, and mystery of our God. The things I’m about to share are certainly not an exhaustive list of the majesty of our God. They are but a snippet of who He is. I don’t write to you today as a Bible scholar or theologian or a PhD. I don't write to explain every mystery. I write to you as a sister in Christ who has read God’s Word for more than 30 years. I've walked through countless hardships, being where many of you are. I want you to know that you are seen, you are valued, you are not forgotten, you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, and the Lord wants to minister to you and meet you where you are.  

In my darkest times, these are just a few of the things I've learned about God:

1. He is a sustainer.  He is going to sustain you in your NOW season. Sustain means to support, hold up, or bear the weight of, to keep, and to supply necessities. God’s Word says in Is. 46, verse 4 - “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV.   Many of you are in the waiting season. You are overwhelmed by stress and suffocating from the weight of all you carry. God is a rescuer, a healer, and He is a deliverer. But while you are in the middle of the battle, waiting on the healing, waiting on the rescue, waiting on the deliverance, God is sustaining you in the middle of the pain. You need to be reminded of all that God has sustained you through already, all that He’s provided. Be encouraged this day that His provision will be enough. Stop focusing on “if I could just get there….”, then I’ll be happy, then I’ll worship the Lord, then I’ll live a pure life. Focus on the God who is sustaining you in your current season. Do not wait for things to be perfect to shift your perspective.

2. He is a restorer. While restoration could be instantaneous (because our God can do all things), my experience shows me that if often takes time. It’s a process that takes patience and endurance and faith, as we wait upon the Lord. We learn much through the process of restoration. I have seen the Lord take the most broken of places in my life and restore them (usually not in the way I thought)! I have seen Him due the miraculous and restore all the "locusts" ate in a prior, difficult, season. I am convinced He will do it again for others. 

But I also want to stop and say this. For some of you, restoration in your life will come after repentance. I've learned that in many times in life repentance was critical in this process of seeing the Lord restore. Repentance leads to restoration with the Father. (I'm reminded of how the father ran to the prodigal son, while he was yet a long way off in Luke 15:20). Is there anything in your life that requires repentance? Is there anything causing additional pain? Some of us need recognize that we are no longer satisfied with the filth of our pig pens. Sadly, some of us created our own pig pens! Perhaps there is someone reading today (who, like me) needs to know that the Father is calling you to restoration with Him today.  

3. God is a healer. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.  I want to talk to you about deep pain, unyielding, unrelenting, suffocating, pain. Only if you have been there will you understand this level of pain. It is the pain that causes you to gasp for air, your heart to race. Please know today that God bottles every tear and He is near to the broken-hearted.  I think of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 and how he took pity, bandaged the wounded man, and placed him on his donkey and took him for care at the inn. This is our Lord - leaning down and taking pity on his wounded sheep. God hasn’t forgotten you. I’ve walked through much pain and brokenheartedness through the years, sometimes thinking it would kill me.  But I've been healed time and time again.  The same is true for you; God is going to heal you. 

4. God is righteous.  Everything about the Lord is righteous. His anger, His ways, His thoughts are all righteous. We need to tremble in fear of God. We do not have permission to operate in passive, rationalized sin. Our God is a Holy God. Matthew 7:13 & 14 says,“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”  Too many are living on the wide path expecting to get through the narrow gate.  God does not bless the counterfeits, the cultural shifts. We cannot claim Christianity and live like culture. Too many say, I am fine with God, as long as it requires no sacrifice, no obedience, no discipline, and no self-control.  We want the blessings of God without the righteousness of God. We serve the one true Holy God or we serve the god of this world. (Satan). Many of us are making covenants with the enemy and don’t even know it or don’t even care. The ticket for many of you who are struggling is to walk righteously before a righteous God. 

5. God is supernatural.  He can do in a moment what you’ve been praying a lifetime for. He delivers from demons, restores sight and breaks chains. When you’ve walked through the death of a loved one, the pain of the cancer diagnosis, or the heartache of a lost marriage, He gives dancing where tears once flowed. That same Spirit lives on the inside of us. Colossians 1:15-16  says, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” Many of us are comfortable with the natural part of Christianity. We can read His word, give our tithe, sing our three songs, and hear the sermons.  But it is in the supernatural, where we get uncomfortable. When we don’t understand healing, deliverance, spiritual warfare, and spiritual gifts, we get uncomfortable. 

Here is what I know – the power of our living God is unexplainable. Our God will reach down, in His mercy and love and grace, and redeem that which was lost. God is moving today and His power is real today. Our Father is mysterious, compassionate, miracle-working and awe-inspiring. He is El-Shaddai, El-Roy, Jehovah Jireh, Adonai, Yah-Weh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Shalom. He is the everlasting God, and the Lord of hosts. God wants to heal, restore, and redeem today. The Father wants to give you rest for your weary soul.

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others.