“You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’” – Lamentations 3:56
Anyone who’s suffered long-term pain can relate to the sentiments of the prophet Jeremiah in today’s verse. God does hear and answer our prayers, but His answers don’t always look the way we want them to, or happen in our time.
When my husband first complained of a pinched nerve, I honestly didn’t pay much attention. It happens every so often, and usually goes away in a few days. This time, it was much worse. He couldn’t lie down. Night after night he tried, but ended up down in the basement on the reclining couch. After living with the pain for a week, our friends and I pulled the reclining couch he’d been sleeping on upstairs. Weeks later, he was still sleeping there.
We take things for granted until they are taken away. Why does human nature have to be that way? God designed us, and did so perfectly… to need Him. He does give us more than we can handle and He does allow circumstances to bleed out beyond our control. There’s a lot of life He will withhold the answers to, and we don’t have the capacity to understand even if He explained it.
After weeks of pain, therapy, and doctor’s visits, it became clear there was something else causing his nerve to be pinched. Something, as I write this, only God holds the answers to. In prayer to Him, it’s tempting to beg for definitive answers over miraculous healing. But I know better from my own pain that hope deferred grows faith.
I pray for my husband to hear God’s voice through the pain, and feel His presence through the frustration. “Don’t be deaf to my call;” Jeremiah pleaded. When someone we love is in pain, we feel helpless to stop it. “Bring me relief!” When we are in pain, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, it takes over our focus. It becomes difficult to concentrate on the hope of healing, and hard to let go of what we think that should look and feel like.
Hold onto the hand that was nailed to the cross. That hand knows pain like none other. Our hope is in Him.
Father, we praise You for Jesus. No one has ever experienced pain like He did for us. Thank You for His sacrifice, which allows us to call out to You for help in full confidence that You hear us and will answer us and heal us. Forgive us for wanting to control what the answers to Your prayers look and feel like and when they happen. Bless us to be strong in Your Word, and rely on You for strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. She stepped out of her comfort zone, and her Marketing career, to obey God’s call to stay home and be “Mom” in 2011. From that step of obedience her blog, Sunny&80, was born, a way to retain the funny everyday moments of motherhood. Meg is also a freelance writer and author of “Friends with Everyone.” She loves teaching God’s Word and leading weekly Bible study, being a mom, distance running and photography. Meg resides in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and Golden-Doodle… all avid Cleveland Browns fans.