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The Valley of Pain

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil for my God is with me! Though the pains of life have drawn affliction to my soul, I know the Shepherd’s rod and staff will comfort me. (Ps 23)

What a wondrous love we have in Christ, Jesus; to know that we were enough for Him to shed His blood on Calvary for the sake of Love. Life hurts. There are battles and wars fought in the heavenlies to destroy our lives here on earth. There is also the Lord of Angel armies, the Lord of Sabaoth, fighting on our behalf and He never loses.

The trials and testing of life will come, there’s no way to avoid them. Sometimes the trials we face can look and feel like a field of cacti, everywhere we go something is lurking to stick us. If we allow them, trials can build our character and refine us into the image of our Creator, but more often than not, we look like the complete opposite of God before we begin to reflect His glory.

In my life, I find that rejection is the primary source of pain, it is my valley of cacti, and it can come at the most inopportune times. Right when I think I’m getting my footing back from a previous battle of rejection and I’m in the recovery process, it is like BAM! Out of nowhere and, completely unexpected another bout of rejection arrives. I then begin the long and sometimes tedious trek to understand the why of it all. I can’t, for it is a mystery held within the rejecters heart, one that only he or she fully understands.

Pain Doesn’t Have to Hurt

I know the statement “pain doesn’t have to hurt” may not make sense at first, but it may have a hidden meaning. Let me see if I can express it. Besides pain being a physical distress, pain can also be an uneasiness of mind, anxiety, grief, sorrow for the past, or concern for the future according to 1828 Webster’s Dictionary. Pain can also be labor or a toilsome effort while hurt is the action that causes the pain.

When we are experiencing an emotionally painful situation, we do not have to bring harm to another, yet that is often the case; hurting people hurt people. Rejection is one of those painful experiences that cause us to react in a way that often brings pain to another. Our wounded hearts lash out and wound other hearts. With Jesus, we can suffer in the sufferings of Christ without causing others harm.

Think about the last time someone made you feel less than, shamed, embarrassed, humiliated, or unwanted. What emotion came up? Did you want to hurt them back by the same means they did you or perhaps you tried to explain to them why their actions caused you harm, but they wouldn’t listen, thereby rejecting you even more? There are various ways we react to the pain of rejection, such as, rejecting others or dismissing an individual first, before they can refuse you. Perhaps you suck it up and agree that you deserve to be mistreated, so you begin to line up with the voice of accusation and condemnation. Still, others become selfish in their wounds of rejection, so they start to act out in pride or self-righteousness whereby they express proof that they are lovable and worthy of acceptance. None of these ways are helpful, and they all produce pain on another, or they drive the wound even deeper.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. - 2Co 1:5

We will suffer at the hands of others, even loved ones, even mothers and fathers will hurt us. The people we trust the most will often let us down the worse. It is a stone-cold fact of life. The good news is that none of the pain is wasted, not one ounce (if you could measure pain). God comforts us in ALL our tribulation so that we may be able to comfort those who are also in trouble. We comfort others with the same comfort we received (2 Co 1:4).

Holy Spirit Comfort

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; - Jhn 14:16 KJV

There is always hope as long as we believe that the Holy Spirit walks with us. He comforts us in times of need. He is our Mighty Counselor in the valley of indecision, and He whispers the Father's voice when we cry out in time of need.

As I was writing this I ran into a song by Randy Travis with the lyrics of my own heart. It’s amazing how God will show Himself in various ways to give us proof that we are not walking in a trial on our own.

“Don’t let me grow bitter I pray

Give me strength to carry on my way

I’m leanin’ on you like a wooden cane

While I’m walkin’ through the valley of pain

I’m believin’ there’s a reason for this trial

This too shall pass in a little while

Oh Lord have mercy if I complain

While I’m walkin’ through the valley of pain” ~ Randy Travis

There’s nothing better than a good ole’ country gospel song to speak into the heart of a hurting situation. I was moved to tears when I heard this song because I knew it was the Holy Spirit’s gentle touch upon me to say “hey We see you and you are not alone.” Praise God!

There’s another verse in this song that says, “Won't you bathe me in a river of my tears, whisper hope and truth and courage in my ears.” There’s a cleansing that takes place when we cry out to the Lord, when we weep the tears of pains and hurts, knowing that not one will be wasted for the Father’s love will hold them all. God doesn’t waste pain, no not ever. The Holy Spirit will speak with a quiet voice, words of truth and courage into our trials and all we have to do is receive and believe. We are never alone if we have received Christ Jesus into our lives and walk with Him.

Let’s pray,

Heavenly Father, I look to You from where my help comes from. Though I walk through various valleys of pain and even death, I do not walk alone for You are always there to comfort and guide me through. I thank You for every fiery trial I must endure for on the other side I will reflect the glory of the Savior. I ask You to cloth me in Your healing balm, let it pour out upon me like rain. Where my heart is trying to dry up and become bitter, I ask for Your soothing oil to saturate it and bring healing. Where the pain of life has tried to break me down and destroy the purpose for my life I ask for Your healing touch to restore me today. In Jesus name, Amen.

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