God Sees and Hears the Pain We Hide From Others

“We know nothing of the trials, sorrows and temptations of those around us,
of pillows wet with sobs, of the life-tragedy that may be hidden behind a smile,
of the secret cares, struggles, and worries that shorten life
and leave their mark in hair prematurely whitened,
and a character changed and almost recreated in a few days.
Let us not dare to add to the burden of another the pain of our judgment.”
~ William George Jordan

Do you ever wonder what the story behind a person’s outward appearance is? Some paste on smiles, myself included, to hide heartaches. Some display a tough attitude to hide the crumbling inside of them that they can’t seem to stop. Even sad faces don’t really tell us the depth of the pain they are suffering.

Last summer my husband and I walked on the bike trail beside the river above the Sioux Falls.

Doesn’t this duckling look perfectly content? Like he is happily taking a rest on this branch? Like he doesn’t have a care in the world?

It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Yes, a picture can say more than a lot of words can in some instances, but often it doesn’t tell the hidden painful story behind the scenes.

As we leaned on a stone wall, I zoomed him in, so he looks closer than he really is. He is actually unreachable in an overflow of the river. What you don’t see in this photo is what we heard. He had peeped so long and so hard that his little voice was hoarse. He was stranded, abandoned, and alone.

Farther below us and downstream was a gathering of ducks. Didn’t anyone hear him? Where was his mother?

Then I saw her and his siblings downstream on the shore. She was too far away to hear and she didn’t even seem to notice one of her ducklings was missing. Between him and them was a rushing stream.

Outward appearances can be deceiving, can’t they? A person can appear to look happy or put on such a strong front, but inside there is so much hidden pain.

Are you one of these broken ones hiding behind a smile or a tough attitude?

God sees and hears our broken hearts. Not one tear is hidden from Him. He knows how hard it is for us, and He understands us when no one else does.

I wish I could tell you the duckling’s story ended happily. My heart ached so for him. I wish my arms would have been long enough to reach him and help him. I often wonder what happened to the little fella. ūüė¶

What I can tell you with assurance is that there is One whose arms are always long enough to reach us. He has the willingness and the power to rescue us, however impossible it seems from our side.

Our stories may be heartbreaking, but He will give us a happy ending someday. We may have to wait a while, and that certainly isn’t easy, but His story of love for us will always give us sufficient grace until that time comes.

“Then call on Me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give Me glory.”
He replied,
‚ÄúWhat is impossible for people is possible with God.”
Luke 18:27
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.”
Revelations 21:4
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing
compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”
Romans 8:18

“God Loves You”
by Jaci Velasquez

Our Intercessor, Our Friend

Intercessor

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Slandered? Betrayed by your friends?

I really hope you haven’t experienced this. But if you have… It hurts more deeply than words can express, doesn’t it?

My heart still cringes when I think of the lies some people have believed and spread about me, even though it was years ago. Even years later, many refuse to believe the truth. What hurts even deeper is that friends believed the lies. Friends who should have supported me left me. My heart still aches. I¬†thought they were forever friends.¬†Why wouldn’t they believe me?

Job knew this heartache. Imagine how ripped out his heart must have felt as his friends said the afflictions that were being heaped on him were because of certain sins he must have committed. Being judged like that had to be more devastating than the painful sores on his body. But God knew the truth.

Job¬†appealed to the One who knew. He had an Intercessor, a Friend who went to bat for him. A Friend who would never condemn him. A Friend and Savior who not only died for him, but was raised to life for him. An Advocate who was sitting at God’s right hand, pleading for him.

“There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name‚ÄĒ
My Champion, my Friend,
while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
Job 16:19-21 The Message

“Who then will condemn us? No one‚ÄĒ
for Christ Jesus died for us
and was raised to life for us,
and He is sitting in the place of honor
at God‚Äôs right hand, pleading for us.”
Romans 8:34 NLT

We have such a Friend, too. Sitting at the right hand of God, ruling there with power. Always ready 24/7 to hear our cries and our pleas. He died for us, He lives for us, and now He pleads on our behalf. He is a faithful Intercessor, always concerned about us, never forgetful of us.

And while Jesus Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts. We are so weak in ourselves, not knowing what prayer to offer or how to offer it. And sometimes we can’t pray or don’t know how to word what pains us inside. But the Spirit within us knows what we need much more than we do ourselves. He knows, feels, and cares about those deepest pains in our hearts that maybe nobody else knows. He understands all the feelings we can’t even put in words. He sends up our needs with groaning too deep for words. He pleads for¬†us and desires to comfort¬†us through whatever we must go through. He hushes our fears and soothes our anxieties. He regenerates, renews, and restores¬†us. He frees us and empowers us to move forward.¬†And He works in us to melt our wills into the will of God.

“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should,
but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time]
intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.”
Romans 8:26 AMP

Job had a Friend and Intercessor and so do we. One who knows better than anyone what betrayal and slander feel like. No, we will not always get what we want. Betrayals will not always be resolved and healed. Slander seeds may still drift around and sprout. The lies about us may not get erased. But this one thing we know. We have a Friend that will never, ever betray us, One who always knows the truth and who will always go to bat for us.

“Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place”
by Cece Winans

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Our Three-in-One God,
Please come and fill our hearts.

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Linking up with: 

Holley РCoffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer РTell His Story 

Kelly РCheerleaders of Faith

Barbie РWeekend Whispers

But I Will Remember His Miracles

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My airways flamed up and ¬†tightened, and my energy drained away. I was suffocating, so I left to use my nebulizer. It helped some, but I still felt like an elephant sat on my chest. I was exhausted. Bone tired. I couldn’t even think anymore. When I tried to, I cried.

Anytime I get into contact with smoke, even candle smoke, my airways rebel. My sarcoidosis flares up and I get very ill and have to take antibiotic and greater doses of Prednisone.

I had intended to stay for a wedding’s dance, but I had to leave. I felt guilty, but I couldn’t hold myself strong anymore. My husband told me, “I wish you wouldn’t always feel guilty about everything.” But I was, and I often do. I feel like I let people down, like I disappoint them, like I don’t measure up.

I’m not asking for pity, but I empathize with anyone who has a chronic illness, especially those invisible illnesses when people may say, “But you look good.” When your illness doesn’t always show, some people think it must not be so bad, and they don’t offer support like they do with more visible illnesses.

I’m trying to be more honest with how I really feel, but I still easily hide behind a smile. I’m trying to feel less guilty for saying “No,” but it’s not easy. Not everyone understands, and some even think I’m faking it. Some think I should suck it up, that I can do more than I think I can. So I try to convince myself that I’m fine. Then I don’t listen to the warning signals in my body, because I have those voices in my head. And I pay for it again and again.

It tears my heart out to disappoint people, especially loved ones, if I can’t always make it to activities.¬†Sometimes I even reason with myself that if Christ’s grace is sufficient for me, I should be able to do all these things in spite of chronic fatigue and illness. Or I beat myself up – If I had more faith, maybe this affliction would leave me. I even feel guilty to ask for prayers, because maybe then I’m complaining or someone might think I’m feeling sorry for myself. After all, there are people who have it worse than I do.

I don’t know why God allows this thorn in my flesh, but He does teach me deeper lessons through it. When I get so sick, I can’t think, and Satan takes advantage of me. Negative voices flood in and feel like they’re going to drown me. I have no strength to fight them or to focus on God’s promises. But in my weakness, God is strong. My fingers slip as I try to cling to the cross, but an Invisible Hand hangs on to me.

Hang On!

As the clouds of fatigue clear up in my brain, I wonder what we can focus on when troubles overwhelm us:

The mighty deeds of the Lord,

His miracles,

What Jesus has sacrificed for us,

Because only in this,

We gain the victory.

But I Will Remember

My heart is overwhelmed
But I will remember
Jesus’ grace is sufficient for every circumstance.
I am bone tired
But I will remember
Jesus suffered weariness to give me rest.
It’s hard to breathe
But I will remember
Jesus gave up His last breath for my salvation.
The journey gets dark
But I will remember
Jesus suffered the darkest of nights for me.
Words, actions, and silence hurt me
But I will remember
Jesus suffered unspeakable pain for me.
Insecurity discourages me
But I will remember
Jesus thought me valuable enough to die for.
Legalism swings its swords
But I will remember
Jesus died to give me life, not death.
Memory triggers plunge me into past abuse
But I will remember
Jesus died to heal my body, mind, and soul.
Shame beats me down
But I will remember
Jesus’ sacrifice has freed me from all condemnation.
Panic freezes my faith
But I will remember
Jesus has conquered fear.
Bitterness sours joy
But I will remember
Jesus offers forgiveness.
Depression sinks me into despair
But I will remember
In Jesus’ victory I can dance.
My sins testify against me
But I will remember
His forgiveness annuls sacrifice for sin.
I sometimes doubt His promises
But I will remember
He is a 100% Promise-Keeper!

Godhasnotpromised

Joining Faith Barista’s writing prompt:
Remembrance

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