Are You Worshipping Your Pain?

When Your List of Problems Turn Into A Blockbuster

Saleama A. Ruvalcaba

I was attending a women’s weekly Bible study. Each week we began with worship. The worship leader would speak in this somber tone…inviting God to be with us…to make his presence known…..to reveal himself…(dismal……voice). One week  it hit me. Why does she keep talking like that!? Aren’t we here to worship God? Yes, in a room full of about 1oo women, I am pretty sure there was plenty of hurt in there. I was one of them. But seriously, were we there to worship our issues or the Savior who brings us comfort? Shouldn’t we shout for joy and sing HIS praises!

Before I go any further, let me say, it is not my intention to make light of the pain we ALL experience. We cannot put ourselves in the shoes of others. What I consider pain, you might laugh at compared to yours. Yes we grieve. Yes we hurt, but no matter the pain, we mustn’t camp there for too long. Here’s why. The more we focus inward, the less we focus outward. Monica Lewinsky spoke on cyberbullying a few years ago in regards to her scandal with president Bill Clinton. She said something very interesting. The more we click (referring to an internet post) to read a horrible story about someone, the less that person becomes real to us. In other words, we don’t consider that person to be a real human being with feelings. I realize this is a strange comparison, but in reality, the more we focus on every issue we have, the less we care about the world around us. Therefore, the less we care about the world around us, the less we pray for others, listen to others, help each other. The more we focus on ourselves, the less we pray for our community, our government and president.

Do you know the Lord has entrusted us to be His laborers for this world? Matthew 9:37-38 “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his field.” God knows the needs of this world, but He expects for us to join together and pray for those needs. He expects us to pray for each other. He expects us to pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. How many of us truly have a burden for what we see each day? How many of us truly have a burden for the injustice, the pain, and the cries, heard around the world? No…you see Satan has baited us ever so cleverly. We worry. We wonder. We cry. We hate. We wish. Pray for laborers? We don’t have the time of day for that!

My husband came home from work and told me while he was driving he saw what looked to be a car accident. He saw a body on the ground next to the car. I checked the news and yes, in the area he was in, a pedestrian had been hit by a car and killed. He said he couldn’t get the vision out of his mind. I felt sad. However, within an hour I gave it no more thought. I was heavily concerned with something I was dealing with. My husband was quiet from that point on and I kept snapping at him for not listening to me when I was talking. He would apologize and say the image of that person’s body was still in his head.  Dear Lord, do I not get it? Have I turned into the person Monica Lewinsky was talking about? I’m so wrapped up in my own issue that the pain of others mean nothing to me. Someone was killed at 6:30 in the morning walking across the street. That person was male. Was he a father, a brother, a son? Was he an uncle, a co-worker, a friend?

We miss the mark when we forget how to fellowship with God. When we praise God – truly praise God, we cannot be self-centered. It doesn’t work. When we truly seek Him, we are in tune to what He cares about. You spend hours crying and weeping over yourselves. Try crying and weeping over others and see if you don’t change from the inside. You’re angry at God for what He hasn’t done for you. Reverse your anger to Satan, who’s your real enemy anyway. Pray and trust God for your daily needs, then get up and fight the real battles in this world. Love yourself. Love your neighbors. Love your family. Love God! Gather an army of laborers and pray. God will heal your wounds, provide  your needs – and answer your prayers for our world.

It might seem unheard of to you, but God wants to use you for a great purpose. When we think of our purpose we usually think of ourselves. God has a greater purpose than we can imagine for this world. Worship Him more today than you’ve done lately. Seek Him more today. Pray more today. Listen to your family and friends more today. Give more today. Talk more today. Laugh more today. Be a vessel – more than ever.

Psalm 33:11 “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” 

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11 thoughts on “Are You Worshipping Your Pain?

  1. Saleama, that was powerful! Thanks for letting God use you to shake us up! You have me excited to see someone so young with clarity in God’s purpose for us! Yes, we ought to sigh and cry for what we see happening in our world. We are the tools God uses to share the light. I agree. Let’s be light! Thank you my sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you! I am amazed at the feedback on this post. I’m not sure why I’m amazed. I sat at my computer and prayed and asked God to give me a powerful word for someone. Little did I know He would teach me so much through what I was writing. I keep thinking about how what I wrote spoke so powerfully to me as well. God is good! I pray to continue to learn and be a light to others. Thanks for your comment sis.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excessive grief perpetuates itself and takes our eyes off our Savior and His promises. One must not allow oneself to bleed unchecked for years. A difficult task, but we worship the God who delights to heal us and mold us into the image of His own dear Son. My pain may feel like the center of the universe, but it is not. There is work to do. My pain is a new tool in my tool chest for helping others. Thank you for saying the hard thing. These thoughts are not well-received in the world of bereavement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes!!!

    There is a not-so-fine line between observing our pain and wallowing it (or worshiping it, which is a very insightful!).

    There is but one purpose to our pain and that is to find our way to the heart of God for His people. Paul coined this “the fellowship of suffering”, but he wasn’t talking about a bunch of people lamenting their pain together in ritualistic fashion…he was speaking to the transformative process where our pain leads us into a depth of compassion and sense of urgency in addressing the pain of others.

    Spot on, Saleama!

    I wrote a post in this same vein back in August:
    http://wp.me/p7ivzM-dw

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your second-to-last paragraph is a brilliant slap to the face. I don’t pray nearly enough for others. I ought to start.

    And I love your point that groaning is only part of the Christian experience. Much good teaching tells us to accept suffering and seek God, but not just to groan – to rejoice! For it is bringing us great treasure. And to fight! For not all of it needs to be capitulated to. We need balance in this teaching. Thanks for bringing some.

    Liked by 2 people

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