01 Nov When You’re Tired of the Hurt
It’s been a hell of a week.
I had planned to write this month about the “season of hustle” that is upon us. But to tell you the truth, the past week has been hard and heart-aching. So, I thought it best to write to you—and hopefully encourage you— from where I am right now.
What’s got my heart hurting? The wars in Ukraine and Israel. The barbaric evil, by the name of Hamas, that has permeated the Mediterranean region; and the antisemitic furor that has erupted globally—the likes of which I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s gut-wrenching to hear and read of the atrocities happening in that part of the world.
But that’s not all.
Last Wednesday evening, October 25th, I was getting dinner ready when John urgently called to me, “You need to come watch this.”
“I’m afraid to see,” I moaned. “What now?”
“It’s not Israel,” he said, somberly.
And we both watched, speechless, at the horror in Lewiston, Maine where 18 people were gunned down. The news called it another mass shooting. I’d call that a massacre. 18 lives destroyed and countless other family and friends devastated…hearts ripped apart.
Another blow to the heart.
We went to bed feeling numb but praying for all who were suffering in our world that day—and for all who have been battling their own private wars and heartache—only to wake up the next morning to more devastating news. In the early hours of Thursday, October 26th, a beloved Senior Pastor of a Presbyterian church in our community had died of natural causes. It was unexpected, sudden. He was young; 44 years young, with a young wife and 3 young children. A lovely man and a loving human who loved Jesus. Healthy, active—some may say “in the prime of life.” Gone.
It took my breath away. My first thought began to form a “why” in my head—but was quickly drowned out with echoes of Jeremiah’s faith, “O, Lord, Thou knowest” (Jeremiah 15:15 KJV). Yes, Lord, You know. Only you know. And I trust you for what I don’t know and cannot possibly make sense of. O, Lord, You indeed know, and I trust You—even when it’s confusing and when it hurts.
And though not one of these scenarios has personally touched me or my loved ones, the grief, the sorrow, and the pain are all there in varying degrees.
Sometimes you have to just sit with your sorrow. Ya know? Just sit in your grief for a time, and not run away from it.
“I’m bone-tired and weary of the meanness of this world,” I lamented to my friend, Michelle. She said it’s called “compassion fatigue.” (OK. I guess that’s a real thing now?) I do know that the meaner this world gets, the more compassion the Holy Spirit pours through us to those who need it. But we still get tired…we get compassion fatigued. Does that resonate with you, too?
So, what’s the answer?
O, Lord, Thou knowest.
Good Lord, he does know; of course, he does. He knows everything—especially how hard it is to be us on this planet. Isaiah calls him “a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him (Isaiah 53:3 AMPC, emphasis added). “Acquainted” is a bit of an understatement. Our God came to this suffering planet to save us, and to suffer with us. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we don’t have a Savior who is out of touch with our reality. Jesus suffered and knew pain and sickness firsthand. He gets it. He gets us.
Not only does Jesus personally know the suffering we see and experience, but he is the One and only One who can do anything about everything that concerns us. He tells us over and over again to trust him when things get out of hand and hurtful. He has promised us that one day he will put an end to all the pain and suffering of this world—he will put death to death once and for all; he will punish sin and wickedness forever and create a brand new world where pain and suffering and tears and heartache do not exist. One day…someday…that will be our everyday.
We must remain here, living life on this pain-filled, but not Godforsaken, planet. And the only word I have to mitigate the pain and suffering any of us feel is JESUS.
He does what he promises he will do.
He has never been wrong.
And you can trust him.
When he says that, “He heals the brokenhearted…” He will! And that He, “…binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows]” He does! (Psalm 147:3 AMPC) I can picture him, wrapping his love and compassion around the hemorrhaging hearts of the innocent who are in the middle of wars and conflicts…so scared and confused. God is there binding them…holding them together in his loving kindness.
You must trust him. But you’ll never trust whom you do not know, and you’ll never know or trust God apart from His Word. So, open your Bible and get to know the One who knows all things and is working out everything according to his perfect plans.
O, Lord, thank you that you know all things, and because you do, I look to you and I trust you with every hard thing, with every good thing, and with everything in between.
I pray this has been helpful or hopeful to you—and thank you for being kind to listen while I emptied my heart and mind. And you know what? Please feel free to do the same; I’d love to hear your heart and what might have your heart aching or confused these days. You can always write to me privately, and I promise to listen and pray.
I love you dearly—and don’t you ever forget that you are greatly and dearly loved by The King.