Have you ever had a bad day, a dark month, an awful year, or just an out and out disastrous season? You are not alone. Some of the biggest names (and not so big names) of the Bible wrestled with pain:
- Moses asked God to take his life when he was overwhelmed with the ongoing dissatisfaction and complaining of the Israelite people. Moses said to God in Numbers 11:13 “All these people who are whining to me, ‘Give us meat; we want meat.’ I can’t do this by myself—it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me.”
- In his heartbreak, Job cursed the day of his birth after (in a very short period of time) all his adult children died in a windstorm, enemy raiders carried off his herds and killed his servants, fire came down from heaven and finished off his sheep herds, his health went down the toilet and his wife told him to just get it over with the great sentence: “Curse God and die”. (Job 1-3)
- Hannah wept year after year because she could not have children while her husband’s second wife kept the midwife incredibly busy. Samuel 1:7: “This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” Maybe well-intentioned, but Elkanah was a little clueless.
- Naomi was filled with bitterness and pain after the deaths of her husband and both her grown sons while living far away her homeland and any support system. (Ruth 1)
- The prophet Elijah curled up under a shrub and just wanted to die after he had a reversal of fate. His tremendous victory caused him to think that his people would finally turn back to God, but he instead found himself being hunted down like a criminal. (I Kings 19)
None of these individuals had a crystal ball to tell them everything would be okay (if ever). They carried around truckloads of pain.
In my living room I have an old rocking chair that most of the time appears empty. When I am having prayer time, especially during those days where things seem especially dark, I picture Jesus as sitting in that chair and fulfilling the words of Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God isn’t afraid of my pain, He isn’t far off, He is near and wants to be near me, even on those days darkness seems to totally surround me. He is there. He was with Moses, Job, Hannah, Naomi and Elijah. Nothing took God by surprise. Have you ever considered letting Him enter your pain?
I love this sentence: “If a dream falls on the woods of our despair and no one is there, God still hears it.” (Bruce S. Garrabrandt, from the book “Cattle Drive”). Maybe your dreams are crashing down. God hears and He cares.