Where do you run when your soul hurts?

By Joan Clayton

We go through pain being born into this world. Many endure excruciating pain upon leaving it. Somewhere between these stages, we will have a brush with problems … mental, physical, and emotional.

Love makes vulnerability. It takes risks. Reaching out with love may find rejection, abuse and scorn. I once heard it said if you never wanted to be hurt, move to a desert island and be a hermit the rest of your life. You may not be hurt by someone else, but neither would you be loved either. When I look at my beloved husband, children and grandchildren, I would do it all again, retrace every step for the agony and the ecstasy of love.

Life’s journey has many experiences and some are hard to endure. Where do we run when our heartache is so great and the pain is unbearable? Where do we run when the spouse walks out, deserting the family and leaving a pile of unpaid bills? Where do we run when death separates us from that loved one and it’s so hard to pick up the pieces and go on living? Where do we run when that lovable, model child turns overnight into a rebellious teenager? Where do you run when financial disaster looms?

With a barrage of gloom and doom fear has a heyday. Fear is a chief weapon of the enemy, draining life away by robbing one of peace, sleep and joy in daily living.

To me, without the blessed hope of Jesus there is no hope! How many times do I try to be in control? How many sleepless nights do I spend tossing and turning? I can never experience the peace and comfort of God if I never come to him or turn my burden over to him. I can never know the joy of releasing my burden if I take it back up again.

“Give your worries to the LORD, and he will take care of you….” (Psalm 55:22 NCV).

My prayers may not always be answered the way I think is best but neither did we always grant our children’s requests the way they thought we should. Our children simply had to trust that we knew what was best for them.

The Lord loves his children even more than we love our own and he knows what is best for all of us.

Whatever the circumstance or situation there will never be lasting relief from outside sources. The human heart searches for relief through physical means and yet a void still remains.

Conquering life’s trials is not easy. It requires persistence and a stubborn faith in the midst of hard circumstances.

I cannot do that alone. I must trust in God. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” Proverbs 29:25). Many things in life I may not understand but if I did, would I need any faith?

The promises of God are true. I must believe and cling to them if I am to have peace. I have faith in so many earthly things, faith the sun will come up, faith the sky won’t fall, and faith the chair I’m sitting in will hold me up. Yet when I hear bad news, it’s a real “downer.”

I’ve not arrived. I still stumble and fall but I get back up and try again.

Have you tried everything else with no relief?

In the darkest hour of your life, he is there waiting for you to run to his wings.

The greatest one who ever lived in human form has paid the supreme sacrifice.

God sends roses with thorns to remind us of the painful yet wondrous beauty of that sacrifice of love.

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion columnist living in Portales.