My iphone defines pain as physical suffering or distress and mental or emotional torment… affliction, agony, discomfort. Nothing can change my schedule faster! It has caused me to stop running and limp home. It has made me drop whatever I was doing and pray for somebody I don’t even know. I’ve even seen my kids close their books and head to bed because their brain can’t take any more. Pain is very convincing and does not negotiate well.

          God says pain and suffering is to be expected (Rom. 8:22NASB). It also is a privilege (Phil. 1:29NTL).  Jesus’ examples of pruning bushes and trees come to mind. Sometimes I feel like a little nub of a bush that’s been trimmed back so severely there isn’t a leaf in sight. “Seems a tad harsh, Lord.” Is it really all for my good, to bear more fruit? When I am surrounded by, literally swimming in pain sometimes all I need is acknowledgement. My husband is a great comforter as long as I let him in on why I’m hurting and then allow him access to comfort me.

     I think God is like this too. I want him to acknowledge my pain. He offers me hope and comfort if I’m willing to come to Him and tell Him all about my pain. I have to LET Him work His wonders in my heart. I have to give Him access.  I’ve wondered if God really feels my pain when I am hurting. There is always someone worse off than me, maybe my concern is silly.

     How foolish to think that suffering is some sort of competition; that maybe I need to be hurting more for Him to care. God cares about what I care about. He hurts because I hurt. He sees such a bigger picture and knows the outcome of all my pain. I can trust Him to use wisely and fully all that touches my heart.

“Give ALL your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 -Lord, I give to you all of my pain and suffering, affliction and discomfort in my mind, soul and body. They may be small concerns compared to other’s, but I know You care about them. Take each one and use it for Your glory. Amen

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