By Pastor Timothy Neptune
On Father’s Day in 2005 my dad came to my office to visit and talk about how things were going. In the course of our discussion he mentioned that he experienced a terrible night’s sleep because his back was causing him so much pain.
I told him that it was time to go to the ER and get checked out to find out what was causing all of his pain. He did, and that started a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. My dad fought an incredible fight with this terrible cancer but passed away in August of 2007.
Many people have faced the pain of having to bury a loved one. The question is, “How do I deal with the pain?” We may have confidence that our loved one is in a better place, but do we do with the pain that we still feel?
As you read this, maybe your pain is not in the loss associated with death, but rather you have faced the end of a relationship, or perhaps have received bad news regarding your own health. The question still remains, “what are we to do with these painful situations?”
As we turn through the pages of Scripture, we find that the thoughts and writings of the Psalmist David bring comfort and hope to those in pain. David understood painful situations for he faced many of them in his own life. He too, buried many loved ones and faced enormous family problems. How did he get through these challenges? He turned to God for help.
David tells us in the book of Psalms, 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18
You are never closer to God than when you are hurting. David knew that from personal experience. David took his pain and his problems to the Lord and asked for His help. In Psalm 142:1-2 David wrote, “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.”
Our natural tendency is to suffer in silence. We put on a smile and pretend that everything is fine in our lives. Yet in reality, we know that ignoring our pain does not bring relief. We hope that time will heal all wounds but we know it does not. In fact, time often makes matters even worse.
Pain is our body’s way of letting us know that we need to deal with something. Whether it is physical, emotional, or relational, pain should not be ignored. And yet still, we try to run from it.
It is human nature to run from painful situations. By law, all doors in public buildings swing out. When people panic, they run. They try to escape. When we face pain, loss and hurt, we look for ways to escape. We dream of running away from reality in hopes of finding peace and comfort over the next rainbow. Sometimes people try to escape by turning to alcohol, drugs, food, or even inappropriate relationships. Running from your problems never brings resolution.
David went on to say in Psalm 142:3 that
3“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way…” God knows the pain we feel and He wants us to run to Him with our troubles.
As you read his Psalms, you will quickly notice that David was very open about what he was going through. And yet, through it all, he learned to trust and depend on God.
When dealing with the pressures and strains of life and the emotional challenges we face, we can learn much from David’s example. Stop
pretending that you can handle everything in your own strength and turn to God who loves you and cares about you. He specializes in mending broken hearts.
Tim Neptune is the lead pastor of Venture Church Naples, a new church located on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College in Naples, FL. For church times and other information, visit www.venturenaples.com or call (239) 775-5323.