Out of the mouths of babes, so to speak, comes today’s universally asked question. It is a question all of us ask, if not out loud then to ourselves silently, as we suffer while wondering what is the answer to our question? I confess – it is a question I ask often enough myself. But hearing this question that we all grapple with, asked by a six year old, in the words of a six year old, gave it a clarity that highlighted just how universally asked this question is and has been down through the centuries of human existence.
“When will it stop hurting?”, this young child asked his Grammi. Isn’t that what we all want to know? When will the pain go away? When will it stop hurting for me? Sometimes our physical pain does go away, it does stop. But for many, chronic physical pain is part of daily life. It does not stop. It does not go away.
Then there is the even more prevalent emotional pain that afflicts us all. This pain is as unrelenting as physical pain, but for some reason its impact on our lives and on our overall well being is much greater than mere physical pain. Emotional pain, those deep hurts, wounds, rejections, fears, anxieties, depressions, loneliness, words and deeds of others that have hurt our hearts and caused us grief unspeakable – these are the burdens emotional pain bestows on us and leaves us to carry on our own.
And so I find myself asking along with my young friend, “When will it stop hurting?” I want to believe that it will and I want a date to put on my calendar, so that I can mark off the days until the day when there will be no more pain arrives. That is a day worth waiting for – but I need to believe that it is coming. I need to believe that life without pain is possible.
I don’t think I am alone in this longing to be released from pain. Look at what Romans 8:19-23 tells me,
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
So all of creation is asking this same question right along with me, “When will it stop hurting?” or “How much longer do we have to suffer?” Creation is groaning as it waits to be liberated from its bondage to decay just as you and I groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. (after all, we too, are a part of creation)
When will the pain stop? In John 16:33, Jesus tells us “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Ok, that sounds like not any time soon will the hurt be disappearing from my daily life or any of our daily lives. Not in this world anyway. 1 Peter 1:6-7 sheds some light on why this is so.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
So my grief in all kinds of trials is only for a little while? Just how long is a little while anyway? Time is definitely in the eye of the beholder. 1 Peter 3:8 tells me,
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
So how do I hang on, waiting for it to stop hurting, in the meantime? 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 encourages me with these words,
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
There’s a reason it hasn’t stopped hurting yet. I am being renewed and prepared for an eternal glory that I can’t even imagine nor understand. I just have to take my Heavenly Father at His word. It’s called trust and trust requires faith. Then I read in James 1:2-4 these words,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I guess with me it’s taking a little longer to develop in me perseverance and to bring me to the mature and complete stage. I am a work in progress and it is a painful process! But my Heavenly Father does promise me this in 1 Peter 5:10,
“And the God of all grace, who called you (me) to His eternal glory in Christ, after you (I) have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you (me) and make you (me) strong, firm and steadfast.”
There’s that a little while again, but there is definitely something to look forward to – a time when the hurt, the pain will stop for me and for you, too. Revelation 21:1-4 describes what is coming, what we are looking forward to in these words,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ ”
When will it stop hurting? When God comes to dwell with us and wipes away all our tears and abolishes all pain and death. When He who is seated on the throne says, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5) That’s when!
Until then I have His promise from Psalm 121:5-8,
“The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
sincerely, Grace Day
2 thoughts on “C.C. the question #101”
What a beautiful response to that question….when will it stop hurting!
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These beautiful words of the Lord God are encouraging and true! We are used to looking for quick fixes to our problems, but with God, we have to change our thinking. He will bring joy, peace, completion in His time!
Thank you for your promises, Lord.