I found this devotional way back when I was comforting a friend over something she deemed as non-sensical pain. But I have always believed that no pain is too small or too trivial or unsignificant. Pain is an equalizer. Whether it is physical pain or emotional pain, the truth is when we are in pain, we all need one thing: comfort. And most of the time,comforting words or presence from a friend is the only way we can go through the searing pain still intact and unbowed.
I know that so well because I also need one right now.
This devotional is so spot-on.
Belittled (by Samantha Reed)
Trapped like a firefly in a mason jar. Stifled, I peered out, watching others’ dreams, hopes and joys twinkle and fly by my stagnant ones. My own desires sat dusty in my valley of pain.
Extinguished. Exhausted. Expectant no longer.
“I’m so sorry your dreams are dashed,” my friend offered. “I wish I had known sooner how painful this disappointment has been. It would been an honor to walk it out with you.”
“Thanks. But a broken heart is silly. Especially in light of others’ pain.” Who was I to be sad about a mere breakup?
Silenced by self-doubt. Belittled by unworthiness. I diminished my pain, fearing it insignificant. In the process I belittled God’s care about my pain. Healing had been offered, yet I walked away, thinking it not worth his trouble.
My friend took my hand, and we journeyed back to when she had lost two children. Someone then had told her to check her pain at the door. Keep it in perspective to others’ pain.
We journeyed back to another time when pain was acknowledged, not tucked in a dark corner. Then she turned to the Lord, who administered healing from the grief of empty arms and empty cribs.
My friend took my hand again and we journeyed forward. “Don’t belittle your grief. Your pain is genuine. This valley is real. You must acknowledge the Lord is near and accept his help to get out.”
My friend granted me permission to feel my ache and loss. Drastically different than her own, yet no less honest. In that moment I realized I’d held my pain at a distance. Yet truth resonated in her words. No one loves us or offers healing like God does.
Perhaps it is time to acknowledge the pain, like Job did in Job 7:11. To become aware of the Lord’s care—an “always there” presence. No matter what other voices have said, your pain is valid. God cares deeply and longs to heal you. No pain is too great … or too small. Often we just need someone to remind us that God longs to remove the lid on our mason jar and fly next to us, out of the valley.