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:
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:
- 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.”
- Seek the companionship of the Lord.
- 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.”
- Go ahead and grieve.
- Don’t continually revisit details.
- Time and practicing His truth will bring healing.
- 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.