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Today’s Truth

“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

Friend to Friend

“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Don’t let them hurt me!”

My son, Steven, was about 3 years old when he contracted a severe case of the flu. His slumped body snuggled listlessly in my lap like an old, worn rag doll.

When I carried him into the medical clinic, the doctor quickly diagnosed dehydration and immediately sent us to the hospital.

My heart ripped apart as the nurses strapped my little boy onto a table and began placing IVs in his tiny arms.

“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Make them stop! They’re hurting me.”

“No, honey,” I tried to assure him. “They’re going to make you all better.”

“Mommy, help me!”

Steven cried. I cried. The nurses cried.

I could only imagine what was going through Steven’s little mind. Why are these people hurting me? Why doesn’t Mommy make them stop? She must not love me. She’s not protecting me. If she loved me she wouldn’t let them do this. She must not care about me.

Standing in the corner watching my little boy cry, I wondered if how I was feeling is how God feels when I’m going through a painful situation that’s for my ultimate good. I cry out, “God, why are You letting this happen? Don’t You love me? Don’t You care about what’s happening to me? Why don’t You make it stop?”

It was a picture I would not soon forget. I envisioned God speaking to me in my pain. You don’t understand the reason for the pain. You might think I’ve deserted you, but I will never leave you. You might think I don’t love you, but I love you to the height of heaven and the depth of the sea. You might think I don’t care about what’s happening to you, but I am orchestrating your days and care about every hair on your head. My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Yes, I do care about you and what is happening to you. In the end, this will make you better.

C.S. Lewis, who watched his beloved wife die of cancer, put it this way: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Because God loves us, He desires our conformity more than our comfort. Allowing troubles, trials, and pain is one of the ways our loving God makes that so. No one likes to be stuck with a sharp needle; but if the needle brings healing or prevents greater suffering in the future, it’s just what we need. Faith in Jesus Christ does not guarantee an easy life, but a perfect eternity.

I don’t know what you are going through today. It could be the toughest time of your life. But I do know that during tough times the devil will tell you that God doesn’t love you, doesn’t care about you, or isn’t going to do anything to help. Don’t listen to him. He is a liar—an opportunist who looks for times of vulnerability to try and get you to question God’s power, provision, and promises.

Here’s my process when those lies wiggle their way into my thought life.

  • Realize the enemy’s true identity: The father of lies.
  • Recognize the lie: God doesn’t love me.
  • Reject the lie: That’s not true.
  • Replace the lie with truth: “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything.” (Romans 8:38-39)

When we feel like Steven did in that hospital room, that our Heavenly Father is standing in the corner and not doing a thing, we can know that He is. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17 NIV)

No matter what you are going through today, remember this:

God loves you.

God is good.

God wants what’s best for you.

God is always at work on your behalf.

And you can trust Him.

That’s the truth.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, sometimes life is just hard. I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel like You are standing in the corner watching and not working. However, I know in my heart and mind that is not true. Thank You for the truth that You will never leave me nor forsake me, and that You are always working for my good even when I can’t see it.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Not It’s Your Turn

Read John 11. What did both Mary and Martha say to Jesus when he arrived on the scene? (vs 21,32)

Did He care about them and their situation?

How did He show them that he had a greater plan?

Can you believe that God has a greater plan in your situation today? If so, leave a comment and we’ll cheer you on!

More From the Girlfriends

Ready to replace those lies with truth? Join Sharon in the FREE Mindset-Reset challenge. Today’s devotion was adapted from Sharon’s new book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence. It’s time to silence the voices in your head that say you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…or just not enough, period. Let’s trade in the self-defeating thoughts for God’s truth that you are an incredible woman of worth who is uniquely fashioned and empowered by God!

13 Responses to “When Love Hurts”

  1. Jean says:

    I usually finish my reading with “Let’s Pray.” But wanting more this morning, encouraged by the reminder that He will never leave or forsake me, I took my “turn” and found yet another moment of clarity. I read John 11. I challenged myself to answer the first two questions. And then the third question. Yes! This I know. He has a Plan that is better than anything the human mind can comprehend. How do I know this? Because He has remained, ever so patiently, as I have been on this roller coaster of life, often because of choices I made. But He doesn’t make me live with those decisions as my final fate. He remains … ready to catch me even in free fall, always delivering me to the safety of the Rock where I can rest and find Him all over again. He is ever faithful, always forgiving, and truly my Friend.

  2. Dr. Marian Swindell says:

    Dear Sharon:
    Thank you so much for this devotion. So many women are struggling with this exact devotion: when our hearts are hurting from divorce, infidelity, children being bullied, the death of our parents…..and just plain the stress and burdens of everyday life. Sometimes the pain is too great and we can’t see the other side of the pain as we are too much inside the pain. When we awake from the pain, sometimes we are able to see how the lessons of God are to bring us closer to Him and remember His plan. As a social worker by practice, working with children who have been raped, women who have been beaten, people in hospice who are passing on to their next chapter, the pain could be overwhelming. I embraced this devotion so much today and needed the reminder.

    Thank you again for Girlfriends in God…..you are raising women up to be strong and reconnect with God and go deeper into our journey with him.

    Blessings and Bliss,
    Marian

  3. Deb says:

    I often write the Let’s Pray section in my journal. Writing it out seems to help it sink in. I love these reminders that God is always with me even when I think he doesn’t hear me. For me the biggest lesson I am learning is that God is in control – not me. I truly need to surrender to him and trust that he will answer my prayer just as he has so many times before.
    I have a control problem and I am that person that prays and offers God suggestions on how to fix a situation – I am learning to “let go and let God” more every day.
    Thank you for this website – I am amazed at how you seem to be speaking directly to me – just like a real girlfriend or sister.

    God bless.

  4. Cheryl says:

    After a 5 month leave of absence, I returned to the same boss that caused a major depressive disorder. Day one on the job she is back at it again, talking behind my back with peers. Last night was a rough night’s sleep, tossing and turning, waking up after midnight to use my new anxiety skills of a thought record. I don’t believe that God loves me and “If God is for me, who can be against me.”

    Then I woke up to do my daily GIG meditation and almost didn’t; thinking I was already working so intently and didn’t need to focus elsewhere. Good is so good! He had planned to answer my present need by aligning it with your message.

    Thank God for your sharing and your faithwalk. Today I will enter the lion’s den remembering John 11:9, I choose to walk in the light.

  5. Brenda says:

    Thank you I needed this today. On Monday I did something really stupid and did not listen to my gut feeling. I got scammed really bad, I thought these were people that they were not and it cost me a lot of money 5000.00. Please pray that some how God can work to get this back for me. I just don’t know why I did this. I usually do not listen or talk to people on the phone. I have been so sick over this.

  6. Katherine says:

    It hurts so my when the person who suppose 💘 you says so many hurtful things to you. And they not spending time in pray with God are living up to Gods will for them. I know through it all God has a plan for us all as we go through trails.

  7. Cindy says:

    I know that God has a bigger and better plan for my life than I could ever ask for myself. Sometimes I am angry because I feel that he is just letting bad things happen and he could stop them anytime he wanted, but then I remember that for everything there is a season. God knows the plans he has for us.

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

    I know that somewhere in the midst of the terrible things happening, there is something better to come of it and there is always a lesson to be learned. Sometimes I wish I knew the lesson and the good to come sooner than I do and sometimes I would like to avoid the lesson all together. I am only human though and God knows what my life has in store and has always known even before I was born. I am learning to fully and completely trust him and to release my anxieties over to him. I know he doesn’t want me to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Sometimes that is easier said than done. I am gaining wisdom slowly, but surely that God is never out to get us, but he wants to give us an eternal life worth so much more than this worldly life could ever be.

    Thank you God for my whole being and the life you have given me. Give me wisdom, patience and understanding when the times are rough and remind to be grateful for all you give us in any season of life. Thank you for strength to see me through the bad and thank you for the blessings that mean so much after the trials. Keep reminding me of the greater good! Amen!

  8. Jennifer says:

    My husband has been out of work for over 4 months. Some days are good, but others feel as if God is just standing in the corner. Big, unexpected expenses keep coming, and money is now down to a minimum. I’m angry, confused, scared, and tired. Please pray we will focus and stay focused on God, and know He is working. We desperately need a door to open so he can get back to work. The enemy is trying so hard, too, to get in between our marriage. I am so exhausted.

  9. Heather says:

    Praying for you and your husband, Jennifer.

  10. Christine says:

    I have lived with ptsd for 48 years. It has taken that long to get a correct diagnosis through eating disorders and many addictions. It is the result of child abuse and neglect. God is definatley showing up for me now, I still struggle with where was God when I was a child?

  11. Yvonne says:

    Sharon, thank you for this wonderful devotional.
    I have a question, and there doesn’t seem to be an answer.
    I was sexually abused beginning at age 3 for many, many years, by my father. I know that God was with me through it all. I’ve received a great amount of healing. I’ve never hated God because of what was happening, or happened. However I’ve been asked “How God, who is love, allows for these atrocities to occur to a child?” I know that God allows free will, and I’ve explained that, but it’s not an acceptable answer to those I’ve tried to explain it to. God even told me “I got ahold of your life at an early age, so you wouldn’t go crazy.” Just wondering if there’s any more insight to this particular subject.

  12. Trina says:

    You want to talk about God coming through when we least expect it to happen. My husband was coming home from running errands and that’s when our minivan rear axel broke. We have three grandchildren that we watch on a regular basis, so we’re in need of a mini van. We didn’t care if the Windows rolled down and did t care if it had all the blows and whistles. All we knew is that we needed a van. My stepson ‘s father-in-law said we could use his jeep until we could find what we needed. The very next day a Chrysler Town and Country showed up on my Stephanie’s car lot. My stepson made the down payment which helped us immensely. Now we are leaving it in God’s hands on how we are going to pay the van off.I can’t work because of medical issues and my husband is a retired school teacher. So we are leaving it in God’ hands to show us the way.

  13. Jeanette says:

    I have been struggling for the last 6 months with an estrangement from my family. I lost my husband when my baby was 16 months old. He committed suicide. I raised her myself and did the best I could sending her to private schools and two colleges. She is an accomplished woman today of 47 years old with a husband and two children, ages 16 and 21. Her husband is a controlling man who has made his family the center of their lives, pushing me out as much as possible. They never visit me, only 20 minutes away, but spend every Sunday, holiday and vacation with his family. He has tried since the beginning to break up our relationship, filling her head with nonesense and lies. Screaming at me, bringing up things that HE says I did 20 years ago, very verbally abusive. They have turned my 2 grandchildren against me telling me that the kids don’t want me around when they are with his parents because they can’t freely love them the way the want, because I will be hurt. I like his family very much, trying on several occasions to help his sister who cares for their mother with early dementia but he has twisted that around too. We have gone thru 20 years of conflict which finally ended 6 months ago when I decided that this abuse is not what God wants for me. My heart is broken, she is my only child. I focus on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knowing that my decision to stop the pattern of abuse was what he would want for me. They resent my being born again and tell me I’m not real and have a black heart. I continue to pray for them hoping that some day they will find the Lord and that their hearts will soften. Please keep me in your prayers for strength to continue on my journey with Jesus knowing that he has my best interest at heart.

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