ARTICULATE YOUR PAIN
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I was reading the incident in the New Testament (Matthew 20:29) when two blind men call out loudly to Jesus on an already busy day. I imagine that they shouted at the top of their voices “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Jesus asks them a weird question in response - “What do you want me to do for you?”
Let’s face it, two blind men asking for help can’t possibly imply that they wanted a gourmet meal or a wordy chat. They wanted healing (hello!) .
Jesus, in his typical all-God style, knew this but he wanted to hear it from their lips. He wanted to know what they wanted and needed to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth as it were.
It got me to sit up and think of the times I had been vague and deliberately abstract with God just because I knew He knew everything there was to know about me. I mean, I didn’t want to trouble him with my issues or give him details that he already knew of. The truth of the matter is that he desires for a relationship with us and so he asks us to articulate our pain to him. Ask, seek, knock he says (Matthew 7:7) . He’s not going to turn us away when we do (John 6:37). He doesn’t want us to hide behind the many emojis created and have a fake personality. He doesn’t want you to sugarcoat your struggles so that you seem less strong. He doesn’t need a polished and touched up profile for him to look up and take notice. He wants us to speak to Him about our sadness, our doubts, our disappointments and our anger. He can handle all this and more if we would only trust him completely. In Matthew 11 verse 28 (Matthew 11:28 The Passion Translation) Jesus asks us “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis”.
I recently spent an entire afternoon at this Oasis - writing out all the things that had hurt and disappointed me over the past few years and the list was long. As I wrote it out though I could feel a lightening of a load on me. I could make out that some of those painful episodes had sharpened my instincts, some had broken me in the best of ways and some had brought me new perspective. I had some things on that list that didn’t make sense yet but I felt more freedom within me than I had ever felt before. As I journaled the pain, I found that there were some things that needed resolution from my end but the vast majority had not lent me any closure and they probably never will. I’m okay with that, because in putting my pain and hurt into words they lost their stinging grip on my heart. The relief I experienced was not instantaneous but gradual - the day after I wrote it all out I had an epiphany of sorts about one of those instances I had noted down and realised that it had God written all over it.
Your pain is real today.
Maybe someone has looked down on your pain or compared it to their struggle and nullified the reality of it. It’s real and it’s yours. You may feel embarrassed to share your pain with a friend or even those closest to you because you fear they may use it against you. The degree of your pain may scare you so much so that you don’t even want to bring it up. Whatever your pain looks like today - it matters only what you do with that pain! The world today asks us to use our pain to fuel our lives because apparently that gives us more passion and purpose. While it may give us a certain tenacity, if it's is not dealt with it will cause us to implode on ourselves or explode on others. So what will you do? Will you hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist? Or will you speak up and get your help from the Wonderful Counsellor himself (Isaiah 9: 6) who heals the brokenhearted and binds up your wounds (Psalm 147:3).
I assure you that only Jesus can absorb that pain and release His magnificent power into you so that you move into a refreshing new season filled with Life giving Peace and Life sustaining Hope.
“God is very patient with us when we are desperate. Pour out your soul to him"
~ Timothy Keller