Sometimes pain feels bigger than my faith.
Sometimes I want to quit praying for healing, for answers, for the end of strange symptoms and unknown diagnoses.
Sometimes I want to give up giving it to God.
For most of my life, I’ve experienced one medical problem after another. As a child, it was stomachaches and headaches. I missed sleepovers because I didn’t feel well, stayed home from school more days than I can count, and wondered why no one else had to go the doctor as often as I did.
In college, I cried on the city bus one day headed home from class. I didn’t understand why everything hurt, why my energy was always so low, why God didn’t seem to want to heal me. I had joint pain, stomach pain, headaches, and intense fatigue.
Every time I went to the doctor, I left in tears. It was specialist after specialist. Many of them simply said, “Is it anxiety? It could be in your head.”
And those words – the idea that my pain could be caused by anxiety or that I might be bringing it on myself – was enough to make me scream.
I don’t tell you these things to make you feel sorry for me. I tell you these things because all of that pain felt bigger than my faith.
All of those symptoms and pains caused me to wonder why in the world the God of the universe wasn’t answering. Why did every blood test come back negative? Why did every trip to the specialist cost money and offered us nothing in return?
It was downright frustrating. And it was downright painful to be constantly hurting.
Fast forward to now and I’m still not healed. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with no cure besides a gluten-free diet. I’ve still struggled with pain.
Weight fluctuations. Intense fatigue. Burning pains in my stomach. Headaches. Joint pains.
I’ve undergone blood work for an intensive allergy test. The results came back positive for more foods than I can count. So, there is more experimenting and the mixed emotions of frustration and relief.
No, I am not dying. No, I do not have to live in a hospital room. Yes, I can still enjoy a mostly normal life. Yes, I am surrounded by people who love me.
I know that it could be worse. I’ve witnessed worse than what I am experiencing.
And still, in the quiet mornings when my body aches and my stomach burns, pain threatens to strangle my faith.
Maybe you understand this. Maybe you deal with the unknown, frustration, pain, or hardship. Maybe pain – or fear, or anger, or doubt, or whatever else – threatens to strangle your faith too.
Here is the hope I can offer you. Here are three things I pray you will remember.
Remember to surrender your little faith.
Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV) tells us, “…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
And Matthew 13:32 (NKJV) tells us that the mustard seed is “the least of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
Our baby faith is enough. In the moments of frustration and doubt – when pain threatens to choke out your mustard seed faith – fight.In the moments of frustration and doubt- when pain threatens to choke out your mustard seed faith… Click To Tweet
Fight by praying, surrendering, relying on God.
“Lord, my baby faith is enough. I’m working on my mustard feed. I’m fighting against the lies. I surrender this situation – and my little faith – into your hands. I trust you. Amen.”
Remember that God has allowed this.
God has allowed the pain, or the heartache, or the anger. This is not because He is a mean God, or because He wants you to suffer. Rather, it is oftentimes through the pain and the heartache that God grows us.
Maybe you’ve suffered pain because God wanted to draw you closer to Himself.
Maybe you’ve dealt with sickness because God had something better in store for your life than you did – something you wouldn’t have experienced without the pain.
Maybe you’ve experienced brokenness because you needed to understand God as a healer.
All in all, your pain points you to something greater than yourself. It points you to your need for a Savior.
And this, dear one, is the reason there is pain in the first place.
So, remember this in moments of weak faith and strangled purpose. Remember that God has allowed your struggle in order to bring you to Him.
Remember your future glory.
I get to leave you with the greatest hope – the hope of our future glory. It sounds so simple that we often understate it.
“I won’t experience this pain for long because someday I’ll be in heaven.”
Let me stop you in your tracks and grab you by the shoulder. That – that “simple” hope that gets tossed around so carelessly – is the absolute sweetest promise from our Great God.
One day our reality will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, no more doubt. One day our reality will be sitting at the feet of our Savior, basking in His love, and experiencing His grace.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17, NKJV)
Someday, you will hear the word “Come!” And that word will end all suffering and all pain. That one little word will heal you completely. That one word will fulfill all the promises of God.
With that word, you will enter into the sweetest place of glory.
Remember this. Get excited. Praise God in anticipation. This is our reality. And this guarantees that we can make it through anything this side of that glory.
Yes, sometimes my pain feels bigger than my faith. There are moments I’d like to curl up, sleep the day away, and forget about the God who created my body with His breath for a purpose.Sometimes my pain feels bigger than my faith. #fiercelyHis @lifeofscoop Click To Tweet
In those moments, I must remember to surrender my small faith. I must remember that God has allowed this. And I must remember my future glory.
Join me in remembering.
Alison is a wife, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace and truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, camping with her husband, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – Life of Scoop – exists to encourage bold authenticity grounded in God’s grace. Basically, it’s some good soul talk in the midst of the mundane.
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