August 22, 2018
When Love Hurts
“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Friend to Friend
“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Don’t let them hurt me!”
My son, Steven, was about 3 years old when he contracted a severe case of the flu. His slumped body snuggled listlessly in my lap like an old, worn rag doll.
When I carried him into the medical clinic, the doctor quickly diagnosed dehydration and immediately sent us to the hospital.
My heart ripped apart as the nurses strapped my little boy onto a table and began placing IVs in his tiny arms.
“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Make them stop! They’re hurting me.”
“No, honey,” I tried to assure him. “They’re going to make you all better.”
“Mommy, help me!”
Steven cried. I cried. The nurses cried.
I could only imagine what was going through Steven’s little mind. Why are these people hurting me? Why doesn’t Mommy make them stop? She must not love me. She’s not protecting me. If she loved me she wouldn’t let them do this. She must not care about me.
Standing in the corner watching my little boy cry, I wondered if how I was feeling is how God feels when I’m going through a painful situation that’s for my ultimate good. I cry out, “God, why are You letting this happen? Don’t You love me? Don’t You care about what’s happening to me? Why don’t You make it stop?”
It was a picture I would not soon forget. I envisioned God speaking to me in my pain. You don’t understand the reason for the pain. You might think I’ve deserted you, but I will never leave you. You might think I don’t love you, but I love you to the height of heaven and the depth of the sea. You might think I don’t care about what’s happening to you, but I am orchestrating your days and care about every hair on your head. My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Yes, I do care about you and what is happening to you. In the end, this will make you better.
C.S. Lewis, who watched his beloved wife die of cancer, put it this way: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." Because God loves us, He desires our conformity more than our comfort. Allowing troubles, trials, and pain is one of the ways our loving God makes that so. No one likes to be stuck with a sharp needle; but if the needle brings healing or prevents greater suffering in the future, it’s just what we need. Faith in Jesus Christ does not guarantee an easy life, but a perfect eternity.
I don’t know what you are going through today. It could be the toughest time of your life. But I do know that during tough times the devil will tell you that God doesn’t love you, doesn’t care about you, or isn’t going to do anything to help. Don’t listen to him. He is a liar—an opportunist who looks for times of vulnerability to try and get you to question God’s power, provision, and promises.
Here’s my process when those lies wiggle their way into my thought life.
· Realize the enemy’s true identity: The father of lies.
· Recognize the lie: God doesn’t love me.
· Reject the lie: That’s not true.
· Replace the lie with truth: “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything.” (Romans 8:38-39)
When we feel like Steven did in that hospital room, that our Heavenly Father is standing in the corner and not doing a thing, we can know that He is. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17 NIV)
No matter what you are going through today, remember this:
God loves you.
God is good.
God wants what’s best for you.
God is always at work on your behalf.
And you can trust Him.
That’s the truth.
Heavenly Father, sometimes life is just hard. I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel like You are standing in the corner watching and not working. However, I know in my heart and mind that is not true. Thank You for the truth that You will never leave me nor forsake me, and that You are always working for my good even when I can’t see it.
In Jesus’ Name,
Not It’s Your Turn
Read John 11. What did both Mary and Martha say to Jesus when he arrived on the scene? (vs 21,32)
Did He care about them and their situation?
How did He show them that he had a greater plan?
Can you believe that God has a greater plan in your situation today? If so, leave a comment and we’ll cheer you on!
More From the Girlfriends
Ready to replace those lies with truth? Join Sharon in the FREE Mindset-Reset challenge. Today’s devotion was adapted from Sharon’s new book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence. It’s time to silence the voices in your head that say you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…or just not enough, period. Let’s trade in the self-defeating thoughts for God’s truth that you are an incredible woman of worth who is uniquely fashioned and empowered by God!
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Originally published Wednesday, 22 August 2018.