When the hurt runs deep

Renee Ann Smith —  March 10, 2011 — 50 Comments

At some point in life, every one of us will face the dark pain of heartache and despair, a hurt that pierces so deep we’re left gasping with questions:

Why me?
Why now?

What have I done to deserve this?
Will the pain ever go away?
How can God just stand by and let this happen?
What do I have left to hope for?

I recently read a book that beautifully addresses these questions and offers hope and healing for all: When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur.

In the book, Kay tackles such topics as the right time for anger, the root of pain, the purpose of pain, how to deal with lingering hurts, can Jesus understand our hurts, and how to pull the plug on pain. I especially liked Kay’s list of truths and practical suggestions for hanging onto God through each difficult day.

Kay Arthur’s Seven Handholds of Faith in the Midst of the Storm:

  1. For reasons we may not understand, God allowed this: “Although God has all knowledge, there are some things He simply doesn’t let us know . . . yet. So don’t try to ‘finish the picture’ or fill in details that may never be in your possession in this life. Why? Because the enemy of your soul will exploit your anxious, tortured thoughts in an attempt to turn you away from the peace and rest that only God can give you.”
  2. Seek the companionship of the Lord.
  3. Face the facts: “Face the reality of what happened, without trying to cover it with drugs, alcohol, anger, rebellion, bitter remorse, isolation, or endless speculation. Instead, turn to the living God and let Him comfort you through His Word and through wise and godly friends. God will work this together for your good, if you are His. And if not, then become a true child of God, and watch Him begin to do that very thing.”
  4. Go ahead and grieve.
  5. Don’t continually revisit details.
  6. Time and practicing His truth will bring healing.
  7. Comfort others with the comfort God has given you.

Back to my thoughts: Unfortunately, comforting others is not always possible. Sometimes the people in our lives won’t accept our help and don’t want Bible answers for their troubles. Many of us experience deep pain when we watch someone we love suffer. And the hurt runs deep when we cannot find a way to make a difference in that person’s life. Kay encourages us to trust our loved ones to the Lord.

She writes, “Just remember, beloved, there is no other savior. You are NOT the savior. You cannot save anyone, but you are responsible to share the gospel, the good news of salvation through the Son of God.”

She also reminds us that God’s Will will never lead us where His Grace cannot keep us. Soak in her words here . . .

You can live with a thorn.

You can live with whatever you’re going through right now that God won’t stop or take away. The thorn will not destroy you. In fact, as you allow it to serve its intended purpose in your life, you may experience God’s power in a way you never experienced it before! You can handle that thing, that challenge, that heartache, that hurt ‘according to the power that works within us’ (Ephesians 3:20) A power not your own.

While there is a natural and healthy stage of mourning that accompanies a loss, I think there comes a time when we need to finish our grieving, turn the page, and let the pain go. When will that time come? I believe that God will let you know when that time comes, if you are daily listening for His voice.

It will be a time to release the emotions that can so batter the brain and choose instead to determine that with every thought, every remembrance, we will verbally give thanks always for all things. It will be a new season of life where we recognize that we have done what we can, and there is no more to do. In the final analysis, things are as they are. And what is has been filtered through God’s sovereign fingers of love.

In that we rest our faith.”

I wish I had a copy of this book to offer in a giveaway, but I’ve already passed mine along. You can follow this link to purchase your own copy. May Kay’s book encourage and comfort you as it did me!

Kay’s bio: Since founding Precept Ministries International with her husband Jack in 1970 with the vision to establish people in God’s Word, International Bible teacher and four-time Gold Medallion award-winning author Kay Arthur has authored more than 100 books and Bible studies. Kay is also the teacher and host of Precepts for Life, a radio and television program, which reaches a worldwide viewing audience of over 94 million, teaching them how to discover Truth for themselves.

Today God is using Precept Ministries to reach nearly 150 countries with inductive Bible studies translated into nearly 70 languages. Kay serves as Executive Vice President and shares the office of Precept CEO with Jack. The Arthurs live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Follow this link to Precept Ministries International.

***Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a free copy of this book to review.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

50 responses to When the hurt runs deep

  1. Renee,
    Thank you for posting this. I hope it’s a blessing to those who might be going through a difficult time right now. I’ve been there, and I can say a hearty, “Amen!” Kay Arthur’s Seven Handholds of Faith present sound Biblical advice. It really works. The best way to work through difficulty and find a place of peace is to seek God with all your heart. He will never forsake those who truly trust in Him. Thank you for sharing this wonderful truth.

  2. Hi Renee Ann,
    This looks like a wonderful book as you always do a terrific job reviewing the books! It’s hard for me to finish a book, let alone review them too. But, we all have our gifts right? I’m so glad you always share your words and insights which are gifts to the blogging world. I like Kay’s 7 Handholds of Faith. So true!
    God bless Renee Ann!

  3. Renee Ann, You write so beautifully. I actually wrote some of these down for my main character who is experiencing a thorn. That may sound strange but as I work through these final chapters, I will remember what you (and Kay) have said here. It is a strange and wonderful thing that flesh and blood people can learn and be blessed from imaginary ones on the page, or so I hope. And there’s always a message within for me as well. Bless you for your wonderful witness!

    • Most of these words are Kay’s, but I’m glad they helped you with your character, Laura! I know of many who are blessed by imaginary characters. My students respond to books and movies as if they folks in them really exist. Makes for great discussions sometimes 🙂

  4. Renee Ann, thank you so much for posting this. I have had many of my own thorns and have been through much of these types of things in my life. Someone once said to me,
    “There has only ever been one perfect person in the world, and you are not Him” Those simple words have helped me so much in my struggle to understand and accept. I don’t have to try and make it better on my own. I just have to turn it over to Him and trust.

    • I can relate, Patty Ann! Sometimes trusting is hard because I’m not sure God will do what I want, and I fear that His way will hurt. I guess that’s when it’s so important for fellow Christians to come alongside and give strength and encouragement–like we do here in the bloggy world.

  5. I have enjoyed the Kay Arthur Bible Studies I have done. This sounds like a good book.

  6. Sounds like a really good book! There are so many times in my own journey when I wonder, “What now?” But it is true: The thorn will NOT kill you. If you allow it to, it WILL make you stronger! Great review!

  7. Wow. Sounds like a book that everyone can benefit from keeping on their shelf.

  8. I also read and reviewed this book. Beautifully done. I hope people will read your blog and get the book.

  9. Thank you for that review. A friend of mine is going through a really painful time right now after a late term miscarriage. She needs a little uplifting right now.

  10. Thanks for linking up today and for the book review.
    Have you read, “One Thousand Gifts” yet?

  11. That sounds like an excellent book! Thank you for sharing it with us! She is one of my favorite authors!

    Found you at Amanda’s party…have a blessed weekend!!!

    Building home with Him,

    Mary Joy

  12. i love kay’s books! Great review

  13. So true! On every level, with every word! – those emotions that batter the brain – I have felt that this last year – a short-circuiting feeling. So glad God is my strength, my fortress, my deliver!

  14. Amen! I love this…thanks so much for sharing. Kay Arthur is a great encouragement!

    The thorn image reminds me of Much Afraid in Hinds Feet in High Places when she has the thorn-shaped seed in her heart.

    • I know–I love Kay Arthur! She’s quite a lady . . . It’s been so long since I’ve looked at Hinds Feet. I was young in the Lord then and didn’t soak it in as I should have. I might have to add a re-read of that book to my TBR pile, Julia!

  15. a comment from another tweeter “)
    and congrats to steeler girl on winning that fab sparkly today !! whoohooo !

  16. Thank-you so much for the information about this book. It’s sharing books like this that along with scriptures that can help so many people in time of need.
    God Bless

  17. Kay Arthur is such a brilliant teacher…obviously blessed with that gift. 🙂 Thanks for sharing some of the highlights from her book!!

  18. This sounds like a great book. I am going to have to add it to my wish list. There are not enough hours in the day for reading, but I love to. Now if I can stop the guilty feelings of neglecting something else when I am doing it. Thank you for your reviews. I really read them, just haven’t been commenting enough. Sorry about that.

    • Don’t worry, Lynda. I do the same–read without commenting when I’m busy! I receive email updates when something new is posted at your blog. But sometimes my brain just can’t think of the right words to say–especially if it’s early in the morning 🙂 . . . I’m always glad to see you here when time allows!

  19. sounds like a great book. I’m trying to use what I lived to give hope…to show that with Him….things do change for the better….thanks.

  20. Hi!! I’m stopping by and following from Not So Moody Monday Blog Hop. I hope you’ll stop by and check out my blog Frazzled Mama at http://frazzled-mama.com and follow me back.

  21. Oh, Renee Ann.. you don’t know how much this helped me today. I forwarded this to my sister and she just can’t stop crying! Praise God for His goodness all the time even in the midst of trial!

    If I could just ask for your prayer, please pray for my sister’s healing. The doctors still couldnt figure out what’s wrong with her. She’s having dizziness for more than a week already and her meds are not helping at all. Added stress is the earthquake in Japan (She and her entire family are there together with my mom.) Please pray for their safety and they’d be able to fly back to Manila soon! (it’s safer here as of now, since they reside near the nuclear plant) thanks Renee Ann!


    • Wow! I’m committing these things to daily prayer until I hear updates. Praying for the safety of you and your hubby, your sister’s healing, and that she, her family, and your mom will be able to leave Japan soon! . . . God can do it. May He strengthen and uphold all of you!

  22. Great advice. Sounds like a wonderful book. I know it has helped and will continue to help many many people. Your review of it here will also help many. I’m glad you shared it with us on Spiritual Sundays.

  23. wonderful post. esp with all the things going on in todays world, we must now more than ever reach out to comfort & help our fellow brothers & sisters. I will go check out more on this book, sounds like a keeper. I found you through the Window Hop on Frugality is Free. I am a new follower too.

  24. Wow – I need to memorize this advice! I am always at a loss for words when other people are hurting… and it’s hard for me to explain why God allows such hurt in the world. I feel like my own faith is strong enough that I can trust Him even when I am not understanding why, but it’s hard to EXPLAIN that to people! Sounds like a good book!
    I found you through the Wednesday Window! http://www.ayearwithmomanddad.com

    • I know what you mean, Julie! My words just aren’t adequate when it comes to sharing who God is and how He’s working in the world. And “His ways are above our ways” doesn’t always cut it. I’m so glad you’re one who trusts His heart. That’s the best place to be . . . BTW, I enjoyed visiting around your interesting blog. Blessings!

  25. hello, ur blog is so nice. Anyway, i added u, pls add me back at

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