Yesterday, someone was telling me about a time when they were hurt and how painful it was. He then asked me, “What is the most painful situation you’ve ever experienced?” If I thought in terms of physical, there were a couple situations that came to mind. One was when I ate a 3lb bag of carrots in a five hour meeting. They clogged up in my intestines and created non-stop gut wrenching cramps for a day and a half that were so painful, I thought I was going to die. I am embarrassed to tell that story but it seems so comical now!
In terms of life situations, there were many that suddenly came to mind which somewhat suprised me. I don’t dwell on the past and past hurts, but when asked, there they all were and there were many much to my surprise. None of them were funny! Each one was a time of tremendous heart ache. I wasn’t about to meditate on any of them as I had dealt with the pain of each time or circumstance with the help of the Lord and moved on. I wasn’t about to stir them up in my heart or mind. But, in trying to think quickly through the question, I realized that the worst heart pain of any of them was each of them at the moment I faced them. I also realized that almost each one of those difficult and painful times had to do with relationships. Quite often the hurt came from someone that was dear to me. It’s a funny thing. People, love, and relationships are what bring some of the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows to our lives.
As I look back through each of them, I thank God for Jesus being with me to help me through them. I had to deal with painful situations before I knew Jesus and after I knew Jesus. The ones I handled on my own before I knew Jesus, I handled so poorly I’d be embarrassed to talk about them. The painful situations I handled after I had Jesus in my life I handled so much better. I doubt I’ve ever dealt with difficult relational situations perfectly, but as I have matured in the Lord, I’ve quit making a fool of myself and operated in much more wisdom because I’ve let God’s Word teach me what to say or do, or not say or do. The Holy Spirit has helped me use restraint and not spew irrational or spiteful words that I’d regret. I’ve learned that you never have to wish you could take back words that you never say. The Holy Spirit has helped me with that.
In Matthew 1:23 we read this most precious verse about Jesus. It was spoken to Joseph by an angel concerning Mary who was pregnant with Jesus. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” God was foretelling us that Jesus, the Savior of the world, would also be a God of great intimacy. He would be a God whose name described Him as “God with us.”
I am so thankful that in every joyful moment in life I know exactly who to thank – intimately thank, not only as my God and my Savior, but as my closest friend. And I am so very thankful that in every painful situation and moment, my God – Jesus, is with me! He is with me to comfort me, to help me, to lead, me, and to heal me from the pain that inevitably invades our life. God is with me!
When I was a young boy who didn’t understand Jesus except in a religious go-through-the-motions way, I always dreamed of knowing God in an intimate way. I am so thankful that God revealed to us that one of His names was Immanuel – God with us! He is with me to help me and He is with you now to help you! Joyful and painful times come and He is with us for both!
Hebrews 13:5 “…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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