surprised by pain


We are dealing with a difficult issue that is causing us both a lot of pain. When I’m crying, it feels like there’s a fog in my head. I have no thoughts, only darkness. Pain is paralysing when it seizes you so swiftly. Last night, in the thick of grief, I clung on to the words in Isaiah 53:

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Knowing that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief gave me a new way of relating to my own experience. It shouldn’t surprise me that I’m gutted by grief. And because Jesus has borne my grief and carried my sorrows, I tell myself I need not despair though the pain is real.

Strangely now the presence of pain can be comforting, as is a familiar foe. Hopelessness still crouches at the door, waiting to devour me. I am not able to leave pain behind for now, but I can offer all of myself to God, pain included.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s “all as it should be”
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name


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