Moving forward, when the pain doesn’t go away is overwhelming and taxing. 

Dearest Reader, 

Right about now, you’re probably thinking you don’t want to move forward. However, I beg you for grace to sit a spell and hear me out.

First, I want you to know. I am with you. I understand. I’m living in, and through the deepest physical pain, I’ve experienced up to this moment.

The truth is, I’d rather be under my soft blanket wallowed up in my pain. I don’t want to move forward when self-pity seems the better answer. The ache goes deep in my bones and burns without mercy.

I beg for mercy, wrestle the question, “How long?”

Moving forward, when the pain doesn’t go away is overwhelming and taxing.

The ongoing-ness wearies a soul.

In her book, This Too Shall Last, K. J. Ramsey, says this:

“Long-term suffering can be a continuous, unfolding disruption.”

Frankly, I wish for my continuous, unfolding disruption, to be gone, long gone. Swimming upstream through the peanut butter river is exhausting, whether you are living with Chronic Disease or living a chronic life.

Perhaps, for you, it’s a long season in a bad marriage. Maybe it’s your singleness, childlessness, loss of a job, brokenness, or depression. The diagnosis, the cause, is not the issue. Instead, it’s learning to move forward in our pain.

The difficulty lies in long-term suffering. And so, we move forward by building endurance.

Endurance moves us forward when the pain doesn’t go away. 

Endurance compels us forward when the pain doesn’t go away, so we place our hope in the enduring Word of God. The Word of God does not fail nor pass away, even as our physical bodies fade.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 

We build endurance when we rely on and hope in God’s Word.

In Psalms 119:81&82, we get a sense the Psalmist understands the continuous, unfolding of long-suffering. 

“My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes long for your promise; I ask, ‘When will you comfort me?'”

The words tumble about in my head as my eyes move farther down the page to this:

“Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words. I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.” Psalm 119: 161-168 (emphasis mine)

We get a sense his persecution was unfair, but also, there’s a sense that his pain was prolonged. Ongoing. This passage gives hope in the Psalmist’s circumstances while it provides confidence in our times of suffering.

How?

  • This person finds joy by anchoring himself to the Word of God.
  • He finds love in the presence of God’s Word. The word love is found three times in this passage.
  • In the presence of God’s awesome words, he finds praise. Praise saturates his life.
  • Rich and profound peace, great peace comes through our love for God’s Word.
  • Hope is in salvation. Salvation promises eternity in Heaven, where there will be no more pain!
  • Then, in verse 167, we find the word love again. “I love them, exceedingly.” 

Future grace is intensely conveyed with the words, “exceedingly, awe, seven times a day, I praise you, and great.”

Moving forward when the pain doesn’t go away demands hope. Why?

Hope is an anchor for our souls.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19a (CSB)

We hope in the unseen, anchoring our souls to the firm and secure, living Word of God.

Amid ongoing suffering and persecution, our Psalmist experiences joy, presence, praise, peace, hope, and love. We, too, can find happiness, presence, praise, peace, hope, and love.

“The Word of God ties from a painful present to a glorious future.”

Christopher Ash

Beloved, hope in and rely on the Breath of God, as you move through your ongoing season of suffering. Allow the Word of God to lift your eyes from your painful present and tie you to a glorious future.

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

***

*Currently, we are in the book of Acts. I’d love to share my Bible Reading Plan with you, along with my Bible Study Plan, if you are interested comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” Mornings In The Word