God is good, our faith is strong, but the pain is real.

My almost 3 yr old nephew burst in my master bedroom the other night. I’d just received a text letting me know that a very close friend of mine, was fighting for her life at that very moment. I was sitting on the edge of my bed praying and crying. He ran over and said, “Mimi! What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” I told him, “I’m very worried about my friend. She is very sick.” He said, “Mimi, help me;” as he struggled to pull himself up onto my bed. He stumbled across the bed over to me, and put the hat I’d been wearing earlier onto my head. He picked up my fuzzy blanket and put it around my shoulders and then kind of clumsily did his best to wrap it around me. He then looked at me and put his hand over my nose and mouth. He said in a very serious almost three year old voice, “Okay…now, breave into my hand.” I took a few confused breaths. Then he backed up and smiled and said, “See! It’s all better.” I burst out laughing as he turned around and climbed into the empty laundry basket sitting on the bed. As he sat down and grasped the handles, he finished with, “Now I will just sit here because I am a vewy good rower.” By the time he was done I was laugh crying. I saw something so very basic and beautiful about his innocence right then. He didn’t try to reason my sadness. He didn’t blame it on my own doing. He didn’t act like I was faithless for being concerned. He just did his best to comfort me and then wasn’t at all afraid to just sit with me even if I was sad. This innocence of a child is so pure and refreshing. We are called to be as little children and sometimes it’s so clear why. My nephew who isn’t even three, had the most effective and comforting approach I’ve ever seen. I want to be like my nephew when I grow up. 

When I first fell completely apart physically, I wondered if I was being punished and I asked God all the time to show me why and what I needed to do to fix it. To grind salt into that open wound; I received a few phone calls from people who barely knew me, asking if I was rebelling against God and this was some sort of punishment meant to turn me around.  I received all kinds of “helpful advice,” as to how to cure myself. I was informed it was because I was “eating sugar, not taking the right vitamins, and not using the right essential oils,” or because I’d mistakenly “trusted modern medicine.” It was because I should have chosen to “homeschool my kids,” or “I was just seeking attention.” Maybe it was because, “I wasn’t praying with enough faith to be healed.” One night as I lay in bed unable to move. I had ruptured ligaments in both wrists, a dislocated shoulder, a torn achilles tendon, and a knee that was healing from a reconstruction. I was begging God to tell me if it was because I was doing something wrong. I felt like God told me to read Job again. I pulled out Job and the first verse hit me like it never had before. 

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

What?! Job was perfect and he faced the gravest trials I could imagine. If this could happen to him, there is no reason it shouldn’t happen to me. I wasn’t perfect, but he was, and it didn’t keep him from facing absolute horrors. 

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on thejustand on theunjust.

In fact, Job’s faith had to be tried in the fire. Why wouldn’t mine also have to be refined in the fire? Isn’t this our entire life’s purpose? 

1st Peter 1: 6-9

6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see himnot, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

I have realized over time that all of those things that were said to me; we most likely just that person’s way of trying to help and figure out a reason why this would happen to me. If they could figure out why, they could avoid doing whatever they thought was the culprit, and it would keep them “safe.” Unfortunately it just doesn’t work like that. The lives we live are in a fallen world and there are trials here that exist solely because the devil is a predator.

1st Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he maydevour:

We live in a fallen world, with accidents, death, illness, greed, and sin, and sometimes we are casualties of those things. Strong faith will not keep me from being tried in the fire. In fact, there is no way to prove strong faith unless it’s tried in the fire.  

 I asked permission to share this. The title of this blog is a tagline from my cousin Debbie. She’s been fighting a very aggressive cancer. The diagnosis was a shock and the treatment has been brutal. When they post updates, this is how they end them. I honestly can’t think of a more perfect sum up what we face with every grave trial. I believe Job could have ended his book with, “God is good, my faith is strong, but the pain was real.”

I believe every person will feel this to some extent during their lifetime. No matter the fight, whether it’s physical, or emotional, we will experience emotions along with those trials. Grief and physical and emotional pain; force us to fight to keep hope alive. I have found this to be true in my own trials. I know God is good, I do have faith in Him, but the arthritis in my entire skeletal system, the neuropathy, and the handicaps I deal with are real and they HURT. Faith doesn’t remove suffering and righteousness doesn’t protect us from trial. 

Whatever trial we are facing, Jesus feels it. There is no emotion he didn’t experience while he was here. He wept, He grieved, was exhausted, annoyed, betrayed, and He suffered excruciating pain on the cross. I’m sure that Jesus Himself could have said, “God is good, my faith is strong, but the pain is real.” If the pains of trial were not spared from even the Son of God…why would they be spared from any one of us? If pain and sadness were not going to be part of the trial of our faith, there would be no reason for this promise in Revelations.

Revelations 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Suffering serves purpose not only for the sufferer, but for those around them. It presents opportunity to become as a servant, and to act as brothers and sisters in Christ. If there were no physically afflicted, fatherless, widows, barren, lonely, or those stricken with poverty…there would be no opportunity to be servants, and that is exactly what Jesus called us to do. He served. Most importantly, suffering reminds us that we have a Savior constantly knocking on our door offering help, comfort, and strength. If we are an extension of His hands here on earth; shouldn’t we also go knocking to offer help, comfort, and strength? Someday God will wipe away our tears of pain, grief, and suffering, and we will receive the end of our faith, which is peace with God for all eternity. For now, we can use our personal pain to guide us in comforting others in their pain. My nephew did such a great job of doing exactly this. He comforted me in the same way he knew he’d been comforted in his young life.

2nd Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Faith in God doesn’t mean the trials won’t come. Faith in God means that when the trials do come…there is still hope and help and joy to be had in the midst of them. If your walking through the fire, take it as a compliment. The devil must be real annoyed that you are important to God. If you weren’t important, he wouldn’t waste his time trying to take you down. 

I love you my friends. Big hugs and Happy Thanksgiving! Jesus is the reason that despite our trials, we always have something to be thankful for. 


5 thoughts on “God is good, our faith is strong, but the pain is real.

  1. That was an excellent article and I would have laughed hard too at your nephew 😀 how sweet he is! I’m thankful for you and your perseverance and for your love of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. God bless you!

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  2. I get concerned sometimes, Amy, that in my comments I sound redundant, but nevertheless it is true that I can say, I am well aware of the point you’re making! I very much agree with your statement that God is good, my faith is strong, but the pain is real! This brings to my mind James 1:2-4: Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it’s perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed (in your faith), lacking in nothing. Wow, I wonder how long that’s going to take!? Let’s be encouraged that God knows what He’s doing and knows how many hairs are on our heads, so yes, He can be trusted every moment of every day! Just one more thing—Isaiah 41:10 is a verse I keep seeing and sharing and I became aware of it from your blog! Let’s keep the faith my “sister” and know that these afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory! (2 Corinthians 4:17)!!

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