Present . . . in Pain?

Is God present in heartache? In sadness? In times of fear and doubt?

woman praying:cryingSometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot seem to “find” God. We may be seeking God out, trying to connect, praying, singing, desperately crying out, and . . .


 Is God present even in these periods – these “dark nights of the soul”? Scripture honestly acknowledges experiences like these. Consider Psalm 88 – a discouraging, heart-wrenching statement of utter desolation. It ends without hope. Yet it gives me hope. . .  because it shows God’s Word honestly acknowledging this common experience in the journey of faith. If you are in a dark period, take heart! And also read this article, “Growing in the Dark,” from my friend Lesa Engelthaler.

Is God present when we face fear – when we get the answer, the news, the diagnosis that tells us our worse nightmare is coming true? How can we experience God’s presence even in totally scary experiences? Check out this post I wrote several years ago about a scary time our family went through and a practice that can help us experience God’s nearness in the face of looming bad news.

Also, stay tuned to this blog because next week my friend Charity Singleton Craig — a writer and courageous cancer survivor — will stop in to share about her own experiences of God’s faithful presence.


2 responses to “Present . . . in Pain?

  1. hey you.
    i to have fallen victim to the struggles life often throws at us and especially my faith. However i once read something and it really startled me and put things in amazing perspective. i cant remember it word for word. but it was something like ‘ if god seems absent from your life, remember who stepped away’ It might seem that god is silent. But he is never silent. Sometimes we expect a sign from him, like a phonecall or something. But just surrender to what you going through right now. God is there. You just need to liste.
    I have started my blog and a more inspiring blog:
    check it out i think you will be inspired and feel a lil better just to know you not alone in this

    • I appreciate your thoughts here. I do think it’s true that there are times when God seems absent b/c WE have stepped away. But I definitely don’t think that’s always the case. Scripture contains many examples of people seeking earnestly after God while God seems to them — for a time — to be absent or silent. The psalms, especially, contain this idea multiple times. I think it’s important for us to be honest that as Christians we may have this experience — and it isn’t always b/c one isn’t trying hard or is sinning or in some other way has stepped away. It may be for a reason we don’t understand. God is, of course, faithful and present — but we may, in those times, not sense his presence or not hear his answer. (Again, the psalmists echo this reality.)
      I also think it’s interesting that you mentioned surrendering to a difficult situation one is going through — there is a lot of spiritual wisdom there! Sometimes we can learn from pain or loneliness or even spiritual desolation in deep-down ways that change us and, eventually, shape us into maturity and a deeper intimacy with the Lord.
      Though I don’t 100% agree with your comment, I definitely appreciate your insights and willingness to engage here on my blog. Thanks!

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