Suffering: A Fishhook in the Human Heart

In his award-winning book, “Where Is God When It Hurts?”, Philip Yancey writes, “Novelist Peter De Vries has called the problem/mystery of pain [in this world] ‘the question mark turned like a fishhook in the human heart.’….Many suffering people want to love God, but cannot see past their tears….Sadly, the church often responds with more confusion than comfort.” Yancey’s indicting statement regarding the modern church is, at times, true, no doubt. However, I am so grateful that my local church, Bacon Heights, in no way fits that description.

Yesterday afternoon, I had an extremely rough day emotionally. To be perfectly honest, I had a full-blown, 5-Alarm meltdown. I had been putting off mailing two separate official documents that federal agencies had been requiring regarding my son’s death. I thought enough time had gone by so I could read & handle these documents while “keeping it together.”

I was wrong.

We have Staff Meetings on Tuesday mornings here at BHBC. When I arrived at the office this morning I was still hurting from yesterday’s events. I entered the Staff Meeting with my stomach tied in knots and feeling like I could hardly breathe. My “default” is too “man up”, “assemble my armor,” and “keep everyone out.” But, after I sat down, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Nick, be weak. For when you are weak, I am STRONG in you. Trust Me, Nick, with your pain. I love you. I’ve got this.” (2 Cor. 12:10)

What followed was me removing my “armor,” opening up about the events of the previous day, and allowing the people of God hold me up. The harder I cried, the stronger the grace of God filled that room. Our staff immediately help me up, and held me close. They prayed for me, and cried with me. And the entire meeting agenda was set aside so that “one of their wounded” could be tended to.

Satan wanted to keep me isolated, alone & hopeless. But God reminded me,” I AM with you, always.” (Matthew 28:20)

In retrospect, I cannot help but think about Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 4:10 – “Two are better than one,…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”


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