Kim Walker-Smith’s song, “Still Believe,” is an incredible song of believing in the name and power of Jesus in any and every circumstance. At the end of the song, she sings the line, “Pain has no place…In your presence, God, we find all we need.” Though it is true that Jesus is everything we could ever need in this lifetime, I am not so sure that pain isn’t welcome in the presence of Jesus. I understand that she meant that Jesus heals our pain, but it is almost implied that when we enter into His presence, our pain is taken away. I just don’t see how this is always true.
If this were true, what about the hundreds of times we have gotten on our knees in the midst of great pain, and that pain was still there when we got up? As a counselor, I see many people in the midst of darkness and pain, and some are seeking out the presence of God with all of their hearts. Yet, they still feel pain.
In the last few months of my life, I have experienced physical and emotional pain, pain I never knew my heart could bear. Yet, God was ever present in the midst of trouble. His presence became all I needed. It became the only thing that would help me.
What about when Jesus cried out to God for the cup of suffering and sacrifice to be taken from Him (Luke 22:42), but God still required him to walk through the worst pain imaginable for the sake of the salvation of the people?
What about the fact that the Spirit of God LED Jesus out into a dry, weary, and thirsty wilderness for forty days before he began his ministry? God led him straight into pain, and He remained with Him through it.
I want to make the case that the presence of God is the perfect place for our pain. It is the safest place for our pain. It is the place where we can be most vulnerable with our Maker. It is the place where we become most like our Maker.
If we can’t experience emotions in a real and vulnerable way in the presence of God, where can we? God does not always remove our pain when we would like, and I don’t care what your beliefs are about this, I know it is true. He restores, yes, but many have pain all throughout their lives that never really goes away. Since this is true, we should be able to carry that into the presence of God without shame, without fear.
King David wrote many psalms out of the outcry and pain in his heart. I love reading them because he is truly expressing what is going on to the heart of God. He shares his pain over sin. He shares his pain in immense fear for his life. He shares his pain when he longs for vengeance on his enemies. He shares his pain in sorrow and grief. He shares his pain in longing for the presence of God, but not sensing it in his life at all. David is real with God. He is not afraid to bring the ugly things in his life to God.
May we know that we can do the same thing with our Maker. He embraces us in all circumstances, in all pain. He wants to know every part of us, but without an open door he can’t reach in to begin to restore. If we think that we have to come to the Lord with everything together, no sin in our lives, no sorrow in our lives, no doubt, no questions, then when WILL we come to Him? Those times of doubt, uncertainty, fear, sorrow, and pain are the times that DRAW us to his feet. Those are the times when we truly begin to understand the depth of depravity and how desperately we need Him. We should be willing to enter the presence of God without masks. He sees us, but why are we still trying to hide?
The presence of God should always be a place of complete vulnerability before the Lord. A place to cry out in our pain and allow Him to hold us and to minister to our hearts. When we begin to understand that God is a God who feels like we do, we can see that sharing our pain with Him strengthens our intimacy with Him.
Topics such as this are important to our Vintage Women. We have a place where these kinds of things can be discussed. Our Vintage Women’s Retreat is October 18-19 at Camp Living Waters. For more information or to register click – HERE.