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

Bloom With Love Wherever God Plants You

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Inspired by Quote: “Bloom Where You’re Planted” ~ Mary Engelbreit

We’re all planted in the¬†garden of life. In the exact spot where¬†God wants us to be. But sometimes we rebel against it. I know I do.

When the effects of past abuse and chronic illness sometimes drain the life out of me, I complain in my heart. I wish I was in a field where shame and insecurity didn’t taunt me. Where I didn’t feel so insignificant and worthless. Where a lack of physical health didn’t limit what I can do.

I see others who are more beautiful, fruitful, and significant than I am. Others who seem to make a much greater difference than I do in this hurting world. Others who bring much more light into the darkness of lives. And I grumble. I get jealous. I covet.

I recently read a devotion that reminds me of how easily I fall into that comparison trap:

An ancient legend tells of a king who walked into his garden one day to find almost everything withered and dying. After speaking to an oak near the gate, the king learned that he was troubled because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine overheard their conversation and added that she, too, was upset, for she could not bear delicious fruit like the pear tree. The pear tree heard his name and began to complain that he did not have the lovely odor of the spruce. And so it went throughout the entire garden.

daisyNear the very edge of the garden grew a little daisy. As the king approached, he noticed her bright little face, full of life. “Well, little flower,” said the monarch, “I’m glad to find that there is at least one happy face in my garden.”

“Oh king,” she said, “I know I’m little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realized that if you planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I’ve determined to be the best little flower I can be!” (Read more –¬†Bloom Where You’re Planted – George Whitten)

God has planted us where He wants us. We may feel choked out by losses, troubles, and negative emotions. But if we don’t accept where our Gardener has placed us and what He has given us, we¬†will wither, not bloom as we were intended to.

When complaints, grumbles, and envy churn up in my heart, I feel so sad. I see Jesus with tears in His eyes. He has given me so much, He has a purpose in planting me where I am, and He is using me to make a difference, however limited my world may be. And the very things that get me down are what bring me nearer to His heart. They mold me more into His likeness. His likeness of love poured out.

When I fall into the comparison trap, I lose sight of the purpose I am here for in the first place – to bring God glory. It’s not about what I “do.” It’s about “being.” Being rooted in the depths of His purpose, not my¬†selfish desires. Opening my heart to drink from His bottomless pool of renewing grace.¬†Allowing the sunshine of His love to nourish me to bloom His love to others.

Sometimes our focus gets skewed in the muck and messiness of life. We start thinking everyone else is better than we are instead of remembering God uniquely created each of us with a special purpose. Each one of us is needed in His garden. None of us is insignificant in His eyes.

The Gardener delights in each of His plantings. He places each plant in such a way that it will compliment the other in the grand scheme of things. Where one serves a purpose to some souls, someone else brings what is needed to other souls. Plants are placed exactly where God can give the best nourishment to each and they can in turn pass on that nourishment to others.

We are in it for God. To His glory. And we can’t do that if we concentrate on another’s purpose in the garden instead of our own. As the little daisy said,¬†“I know I’m little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realized that if you planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I’ve determined to be the best little flower I can be!”

How is it possible to be the best little flower we can be? Accept where God has planted us, open our hearts to His nurturing love and grace, and let His love bloom in our lives for others to take comfort from.
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Every seed of kindness we plant,

However small, noticed or unnoticed,

Can bloom hope in the heart of a hurting soul,

A soul aching to be loved and cared about.

Every tiny seed planted will grow

And sprinkle seeds to others,

Making a difference in the lives of many.

“Three things will last forever ‚ÄĒ
faith, hope, and love ‚ÄĒ
and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to Your name give glory,
for Your mercy and loving-kindness and for
the sake of Your truth and faithfulness!”
Psalm 115:1 AMP

“Bring all who claim Me as their God,
for I have made them for My glory.
It was I who created them.”
Isaiah 43:7 NLT

“I am the Vine; you are the branches.
The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit,
for [otherwise] apart from Me
[that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 AMP

A Child's Trust

“Love’s Where It All Begins”
Inspiring Song About Love

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God Knows – God Cares

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“But if I go to the east, He is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find Him.
When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him;
when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.
But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.‚ÄĚ
Job 23: 8-10

Sometimes through the deep, dark valleys of this life, our hearts sink into despair and we may wonder РDoes anyone see? Does anyone hear? Does anyone care? Does anyone know and understand my pain? 

Job was a prosperous farmer in the land of Uz. He was wealthy and everything was going well for him. The Lord Himself said he was “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Satan told the Lord that it’s no wonder he fears God, because everything is going well for him. If God would take everything away from him, he would curse God. So God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith.

And so the devastation began. So heartbreaking that no one could endure it without God. Lone surviving servants came one after another to announce bitter losses. Serbians attacked and carried off all the oxen and donkeys and killed all but one servant with the sword. Fire fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and his servants. The Chaldeans carried away his camels and killed his servants.

Then came the biggest blow of all. His sons and daughters were feasting together when a mighty wind swept in and collapsed the house. All of his precious children gone in one blast!

Job got up and tore his robe, shaved his head, and sat in ashes. His heart was heavy with mourning. And yet He still fell to the ground in worship to God, “Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord hast taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

Satan fumed about this and told God that if He struck Job’s own flesh and bones, he will surely curse Him. So Job was covered with painful sores over his entire body. He sat down in the ashes and scraped himself with broken pottery.

His precious children were killed. His livestock and most of his servants were all gone. And there he sat amid the ashes with painful boils covering his body. Humanly impossible to endure, right? Yet there’s more.¬†His wife railed at him to curse God and die. And finally his close friends, though at first they wept with him, told him he must have done some sin to anger God, and God was punishing him because of it.

In extreme pain and unspeakable grief, he cursed the day he was born. His faith in God was sorely tested. He couldn’t help but feel God was against him –¬†“The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.” (Job 6:4) He cries, “He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished.¬†He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.” (Job 19:10)

God’s terror against him. His hope uprooted. How utterly forsaken and abandoned he felt! He looked east, west, north, and south for God, but he couldn‚Äôt find Him. He could not hang onto what he knew of God’s faithfulness. He must have started to question himself, wondering if maybe he did do something wrong to stir up God‚Äôs anger against him.

But¬†after nearly losing himself in his friends‚Äô criticism and all the negative thoughts that stirred up, he rallied. He remembered who God really is, that His thoughts and ways are above ours. ‚ÄúBUT HE KNOWS the way that I take.‚ÄĚ God knew every step he had taken. God knew he was in pain in body and spirit. And when some people do not, cannot, or will not understand, God always understands.

His trembling hand of faith reached forth and held onto his all-knowing and faithful God. He could leave all things into the hands of the¬†GOD WHO KNOWS. He trusted¬†in¬†His infinite knowledge. He trusted¬†God’s love and understanding.¬†He trusted God had everything under control for his good. He even believed that after God had tested him, he would come forth as gold.

Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Do you feel forsaken? Do you feel misunderstood and alone? Do you have a hidden sadness?

BUT HE KNOWS! Yes, there is Someone who sees, who hears, who cares, who knows and understands. God knows all our ways. Not one pain in our hearts, no matter how deep and hidden it is to others, escapes His notice. He understands all our thoughts and troubles. He feels our pain so deeply that He aches for us and He weeps with us. Sometimes like Job we may get overwhelmed and can’t find Him, but He is always still here watching out for us. 

Someday at the end of all the testing, God will not only just bring us through it, but we will come forth as gold. Glorious thought! He knows why He tests us, and He does it out of love for us, to honor us, to strengthen us, to make us better able to comfort those who are without comfort. (2 Cor. 1:4) His purpose is always for our good. God the Holy Spirit is transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3: 18). 

Yes, no matter how deep and dark the valley is that you’re going through… GOD KNOWS.¬†GOD CARES.

“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.‚ÄĚ
John 16:33

“For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory
that will be revealed in us.‚ÄĚ
Romans 8:18

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“Tears Are a Language God Understands” by Heritage Singers

Thank You, God, that
You know and You care!

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Linking up with: 

Holley РCoffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer РTell His Story 

Kelly РCheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie¬†– Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews