Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. — James 4:8
Does it ever feel like the heartbreak in your life is trying to break you?
I understand. I really, really do. I’ve been in that place where the pain of heartbreak hits with such sudden and sharp force that it feels like it cuts through skin and bone. It’s the kind of pain that leaves us wondering if we’ll ever be able to function like a normal person again. Have you been there I ask again Have you experienced that moment of agony when all hope seems lost?
But God has been tenderly reminding me that pain itself is not the enemy. It is a gateway to finding the peace that passeth all understanding to rest and comfort in the Lord.
Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists.
Pain is the reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination, knowing there’s healing on the other side.
And in the in-between? In that desperate place where we aren’t quite on the other side of it all yet, and our heart still feels quite raw? Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His. I’m not writing that to throw out spiritual platitudes that sound good; I write it from the depth of a heart that knows it’s the only way. We must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate in-between.
The only other choice is to run from the pain by using some method of numbing. But numbing the pain never goes to the source of the real issue to make us healthier. It only silences our screaming need for help.
Some people go to drinking or smoking to numb the pain and soon after the effects wear off the pain is still present and sometimes to a greater magnitude. I was there and I speak from the heart with experience.
We think we are freeing ourselves from the pain when, in reality, what numbs us imprisons us. Think about it for a moment and look around your surroundings. What do you see but seeds of miserable people?
If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us. So where there is a void in your life you will want to fill it. Yes, but with what are you going to fill this void?
It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again. It even steals the best in our relationship with God.
Pain is the sensation that indicates a transformation is needed. There is a weakness where new strength needs to enter in. And we must choose to pursue long-term strength rather than temporary relief.
So how do we get this new strength? How do we stop ourselves from chasing what will numb us when the deepest parts of us scream for some relief? How do we stop the piercing pain of this minute, this hour?
We invite God’s closeness. So this is the reality of life and so I am inviting you to look to God for the satisfying of the pain that we are enduring daily.
For me, this means praying. No matter how vast our pit, prayer is big enough to fill us with the realization of His presence like nothing else. Our key verse (James 4:8) reminds us that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. When we invite Him close, He always accepts our invitation.
And on the days when my heart feels hurt and my words feel quite flat, I let Scripture guide my prayers —and in that very moment I cry unto the Lord and He hears and answers my prayers.
One of my favourites to turn to is Psalm 91. I would love to share this verse with you today, as an example for when you prayerfully invite God into your own pain.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. — Psalm 91:1
Let us Pray:
Lord, draw me close. Your Word promises when I draw close to You, You are there and will draw nigh to me.
I want my drawing close to being a permanent dwelling place. At any moment when I feel weak and empty and alone, I pray that I won’t let those feelings drag me down into a pit of insecurity. I pray that those same feelings will lift me to a higher place where I can be with peace with You O’ Lord
But rather, I want those feelings to be triggers for me to immediately lift those burdensome feelings to You and trade them for the assurance of Your security.
- I am not alone, because You are with me.
- I am not weak, because Your strength is infused in me.
- I am not empty, because I’m drinking daily from Your fullness.
You are my dwelling place. And in You, I have shelter from every stormy circumstance and harsh reality. I’m not pretending the hard things don’t exist, but I am rejoicing in the fact that Your covering protects me and prevents those hard things from affecting me like they used to.
You, the Most High, God have the final say over me. You know me and love me intimately. And today I declare that I will trust You in the midst of my pain. You are my everyday dwelling place, my saving grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
And with that I close my prayer and begin to rejoice, feeling a lot less desperate and a lot more whole. I breathe the atmosphere of life His words bring. I picture Him standing at the door of my future, knocking. If I will let Him enter into the darkness of my hurt today, He will open wide the door to a much brighter tomorrow.
Dear Lord, at this moment I draw near to You and I invite Your closeness. Help me to experience Your presence today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.