Joy to the world

Hillsong Worship

I’ve dealt with back pain all of my adult life. It started in college and has continued to get worse over the years. I’m told I have several herniated discs and the spine of a 70 year old (I’m 37 years old). I’ve never been in an accident. The best anyone can tell, it’s simply bad genes. I’ve been able to manage it over the years with physical therapy, injections, stretching, and working out, all with varying degrees of success.

In the last month, I’ve had a major flare up, and have experienced the most intense physical pain of my life. I’m sure there are worse physical pains, but in my personal experience, this has been my worst pain ever. I can’t find a comfortable position. I can’t sleep at night. I lie in bed all day, missing time from work and even worse, missing time with my family.

Yesterday as I was feeling sorry for myself driving to yet another doctor appointment, I was listening to the radio and heard the song “Not for a Moment” by Meredith Andrews. Honestly, it’s not my style. It is one of those sappy girly songs I usually zone out on. But in my pain, as I drove to have another MRI performed, the lyrics really stood out to me.

“When I thought You were a thousand miles away, Not for a moment did You forsake me. After all You are constant. After all You are only good. After all You are sovereign. Not for a moment will You forsake me … In my heart at my worst … even in the dark … even when it’s hard … You will never leave me.”

WOW! (and thank you to WAY-FM for always seeming to play the perfect song at the perfect time).

In my pity party, I felt like God had forsaken me. My prayers weren’t being answered fast enough. I actually stopped praying because I wasn’t getting relief from the pain fast enough. Have you ever done that? Not prayed because you just didn’t expect God to answer it anyway, because you felt like God had forsaken you?

As I sit at the stoplight in more pain than I’ve even experienced, I was overcome by emotion as I thought about the pain Jesus suffered for me on the cross … for my sins. His pain and suffering, for just Brian’s sins, far exceeded the excruciating back pain I am experiencing right now. And yet, he freely took upon Himself the pain and punishment for sins of the entire world from the beginning of time to the end of days. I can not begin to fathom the pain, agony and suffering He experienced as He hung on the cross, in total humiliation, paying our debt.

The pain was so intense Jesus cried out “Father, why have you forsaken me?” We have no ability to appreciate the utterly horrific experience of having the sins of the world put upon Jesus as He hung, in excruciating pain. The physical pain was immense, worse than a billion herniated discs. And yet the spiritual pain must have been so much worse.

How can I ever doubt God’s love for me?

God will never forsake me, not for a moment. He will never forsake you, even when it’s hard. He loves you and me so abundantly that He came down from His thrown to suffer pain like we can’t begin to fathom, so that we can have abundant life like we could never imagine. So in my pain today, I still say, blessed be the name of the Lord, who will never ever forsake me.

I’d love to hear about times when you thought God had forsaken you. Feel free to leave comments below to help encourage others.

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