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...what do we do?

You know, at no time in our lives. Are we more aware of our humanity, than the times we are in emotional pain. Whether it be from lonliness, or the hurt caused by another. Or one of the many tragedies in this life.
It's at these times when we often feel deserted by God. And we ask, "Lord, where are you when I need you?"
We cry out for God to take our pain from us. We beg, we plead .....with all our hearts.
But we often find that the pain is still there. We are still hurting. And we feel as if God does not care. It causes us to close ourselves off. From the Lord. From those around us. Those we care about.
We think such things as, "well, if God truly loved me, He would take this pain from me (?)". And to us this seems so logical.
Afterall, if He did care, would He not remove the pain of our burden?" ....And yet our prayers seems to go unanswered. And we are hurting just as much as we were. Even more so, as we feel (conclude within ourselves) that He does not care anymore. 
....And we will even question, whether He ever did.
And we sit. Feeling "cold" and "numb" in our pain. We feel alone.
But if we remember correctly? If we really think about it. Does His word not say, that He will never leave us, nor forasake us?
 "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
              (Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV)
So then where is He? What is He doing? When all the trials of life come. The pain. The lonliness we feel sometimes (or for some of us often). Where is He in all this?
Afterall, we beg, we plead. We are willing to do anything that we might, "rid" ourselves of this awful pain that we feel. But it is still with us.
So what is happening? That our Father, who did not withold His own Son for our sakes:
 "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
                       (Romans 8:32 NKJV)
Would withdraw Himself from us?
Could it be that He hasn't? Could it be that He wants to be there with us. Carrying us through it? Wanting us to depend on Him?
So often we want to be delivered from much of the awful pain of this world. And most certainly, and understandably so! .....But could it be that He wants to walk with us? Comfort us? Grow us through it?
Use it for our own good?
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
                (John 15:1-3 NKJV)
Afterall, remember what Paul said in Romans 8:28?
 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
                       (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
So God is working through all things in our lives! Good, or bad, for our benefit. For His purposes in our lives to bring Him glory.
Conforming us to the image of His Son:
 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
                (Romans 8:29 NKJV)
So what do we do when we have asked the Lord to take this pain? And it seems to stay with us and we feel so hurt, broken and helpless? We ask Him into our pain! To meet us in our pain. Now, this may seem ridiculous. As many will admit (hmmmmm...perhaps all of us?) that we do not care to go through pain!
But there is a truth in these situations that many of us do not see (or much want to see).
First God never promised us an easy ride in this life!
In fact He promised us tribulation, but He also promised us peace!!
 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
                   (John 16:33 NKJV)
And when we are hurting awfully, it is in this time. We must ask Him to come into our pain and walk with us!
Afterall, is He not there to help us? Calling out to us?
 "come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
                       (Matthew 11:28 NKJV)
We must remember, He is an intimate God. He wants fellowship with us. Through not only the good times, but the bad also! He wants to be involved in every part of our lives. Making His home with us! Just as Jesus said:
 "Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
                       (Matthew 14:23 NKJV)
What we do and experience not only in the open. But the parts of our lives we think that are hidden. You see we must remember nothing is hidden from Him (Heb. 4:13)!
You see God is an intimate God! And as such, He wants nothing less, than all of you! To walk through your life with you!! Just as a Father cares for His child's well being. Or a dear close friend cries with a friend (over a deep hurt , or loss). He cares about all our troubles. Our laughter, our joy, our pain. He cares about EVERY detail of our lives. And just because we may feel distant from Him. It does not mean that He is. Often times, it is us, that have distanced ourselves from Him. Either because of the pain we feel, or because we become angry and we run from Him. But this is the worst thing we can do. Run from Him! For it is in these lowest times, that we really need Him most!!
Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? How they had been ordered to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar's image (he had made). But they refused? So what happened?
 "Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace."
                 (Daniel 3:19-20 NKJV)
He ordered them to be burned in the fiery furnace! 
Now, did God deliver them?
 "Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace."
             (Daniel 3:21-23 NKJV)
In fact they were thrown into the furnace. Which had been heated up seven times hotter, than usual, by the King's order.
But what happend to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? Did they burn? No!
....And the Lord did not let them go through it alone:
  "Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”  “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
                   (Daniel 3:24-25 NKJV)
The Lord was with them!
And they came out unburned. Without any sign of permanent damage:
  "Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them."
                   (Daniel 3:26-27 NKJV)
And not only that, but God used it for His glory:
  "Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
                   (Daniel 3:28-29 NKJV)
You see none of us (including me!), enjoy pain do we? And we will ask, beg, plead with God to deliver us! Sometimes He will. And sometimes He will not.
But when He does not? He promises us that He will be with us:
 "Fear not, for I am with you;
       Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you,
       Yes, I will help you,
       I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

                          (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)
And not only will He be with us? But He will also comfort and heal us:
 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
       Because the LORD has anointed Me
       To preach good tidings to the poor;
       He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
       To proclaim liberty to the captives,
       And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 
        To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
      And the day of vengeance of our God;
      To comfort all who mourn
        To console those who mourn in Zion,
      To give them beauty for ashes,
      The oil of joy for mourning,
      The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
      That they may be called trees of righteousness,
      The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."                    
                       (Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV)
You see God did not promise us that we would not suffer in this world. But He promised us we would not go through it (this world) alone. Especially in our suffering.
Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego went through the fire. So must we at times go through our own "fires". And just as the Lord went through it with them them. He will be with us. We may feel intense pain, be hurt emotionally. But He will walk with us. Give us His strength. Heal us. And grow us through our trials. And we will often find valuable blessings coming from our trials! Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego received a great blessing. They were promoted by the king (Daniel 3:29). And we will be blessed also. Whatever those blessings turn out to be. Whether it was something we needed to learn. An area we need to grow in. Or whatever it may be (?).
And we must remember, He WILL give us what we need:
 "This is my comfort in my affliction,
          For Your word has given me life."
              (Psalm 119:50 NKJV)
 "In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
          Your comforts delight my soul."
                  (Psalm 94:19 NKJV)
This life is not easy for any of us. It is hard. But if we truly know who Jesus is? If we truly are His? God's children? We have what we really need. We have Him! N-o-t-h-i-n-g less will do!!
And nothing in this life is permanent. We can become so "comfortable" that we sometimes forget this! The only thing for certain is Jesus!!
We MUST remember! At our lowest times, that He will never forsake us (Deut. 31:8). And we must invite Him into our pain. And let Him carry us through. Just like the poem "footrpints". We wonder why we only find one set of footrpints in the sand? While walking through the very difficult (lowest) times in our lives. Only to find out later, that the one set of footprints we see. Was because He was carrying us (the whole time)!
You see we have invite Him into EVERY area of our lives. Including (and especially) those that just "wrench" our hearts out. The very painful ones. And we will find that we can make it through them. With His help! Just as He spoke to Paul:
 "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
          (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV, 1st part)
The question for all of us is this. Will we trust Him?
 "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
                   (Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV)
Afterall, He is aware of every part of our lives:
 "You number my wanderings;
          Put my tears into Your bottle;
          Are they not in Your book?"
                  (Psalm 56:8 NKJV)
Every part!
  "O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
    You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
    You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
   For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
   You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it
   Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
    If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
     Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.
     If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
         Even the night shall be light about me;
     Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
         But the night shines as the day;
         The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
     For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
     I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
     My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
     Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them
    How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How great is the sum of them!
     If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
         When I awake, I am still with You."
                  (Psalm 139:1-18 NKJV)
So what do you think?
And Here is some "food" for thought:
 "The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
          And saves such as have a contrite spirit."
                         (Psalm 34:18 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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