What to Do with a Pain-Filled Life

Are you living in the midst of pain that is unceasing? Difficult circumstances that won't let up? Unmet desires and dreams left unknown? God sees you. He doesn't want to waste a single opportunity to draw close to your heart and he longs for you to draw close to him today too.Do you ever feel like God doesn’t care about your pain?

“If You really loved me,” we say to Him, “You wouldn’t let me hurt like this. You would give me a husband.” OR… “You would heal my sick child.” OR… “You would help me find a job.” OR… fill in the blank with your pain point.

This past summer, my then-two-year-old daughter fell and scraped her knee. She was crying all the way home, and I could tell she was hurting. I held her hand and reassured her that mama was here and she would be okay.

As soon as we entered the house, I rushed to our medicine cabinet and grabbed triple antibiotic cream.

“I don’t need that,” she said, between the tears, hyperventilating at the sight of my loot.

“What?” I asked, quizzically.

“That,” she said, pointing to the little tube.

“But baby,” I cooed, trying to soothe her while rubbing circles on her back, “This will take the pain away. It will make you feel better.”

“No!” she insisted, tears running down her cheeks. “Please! I don’t need that!” And she broke into sobs.

I sighed and placed the medicine aside, knowing that I wouldn’t force the treatment on my little girl against her wishes. This wasn’t a life-or-death situation, but she certainly would have been more comfortable had she allowed me to care for her as mama knows best.

And that’s when it dawned on me: how often do I reject God’s blessings because I don’t trust His methods? I’m not saying that death, sickness, loneliness, or tragedy are God’s gifts—they’re a result of the sin that has entered this world. But within those hardships, God desires to comfort us with His own presence, and often through unordinary means.

What if, as the song goes, His blessings come through raindrops? What if His healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know He’s near? What if trials of this life are His mercy in disguise?

What if all those things we fear, the Neosporin of our lives, is really God’s healing agent to bring us closer to Him? As I gathered my little one in my arms, I couldn’t help but think of this verse, when Jesus is speaking to the city that rejected Him:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, […] how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34)

You were not willing. What chilling words.

I don’t pretend to know the pain you’re going through, but I do know that God won’t waste a single opportunity to gather us in His arms and comfort us with His Spirit.

Let us humbly learn to welcome God’s medicine in our lives, even when it stings at first, trusting that our Father knows best.

With much joy,


PS I wrote a prayer for when the pain seems overpowering, based on a painful experience in my own life. I hope it’s a blessing to you if you’re working through a painful season in your own life.

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