Weekly Devotional 040422

I Feel Your Pain

by Tracy Gordon

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 
–Romans 8:38-39

“Full recovery ahead!” Those were the words our family heard after my brother’s surgery in December 2019 to remove a brain tumor. This was an answer to prayer! I couldn’t have been more thankful. Growing up, my big brother Larry and I were like twins. Even though we are 2½ years apart, we have always had an amazing connection and now my Superman (a nickname between the two of us) was going to beat this cancer. We were seeing so many blessings leading up to the surgery and following. His neurosurgeon happened to be one of the best in the nation and was able to remove the entire tumor. Larry needed radiation and chemo, but this would give him a 97% chance of the cancer not returning. I was fortunate to be able to help him with his rehabilitation and he was making great progress. The treatments began to take a toll, but Larry was fighting through them with great resilience. Then, completely unexpected, my amazing brother passed away in his sleep on New Year’s Eve a year ago. When we went to wake him up the next morning and couldn’t, I began CPR but couldn’t save my Superman. We were devastated. How could this happen? Larry was promised a full recovery. What did we miss? What more could we have done? 

Every question plunged me deeper into a dark hole of despair. I walked around in a fog and didn’t shower for three days. When Pastor Greg called to check on me and my family, I had no words. All I could say was, “I am so angry! I don’t know what or how to pray so I’m not praying.” This was so out of character for me. I deeply love the Lord and consider myself a prayer warrior, but I felt paralyzed and distant from God. I soon realized that this was a distance I was creating, not Him. Since I couldn’t find the words to pray, I called a dear friend who would. Right there, over the phone, she prayed every word I wanted to pray but couldn’t. She lovingly interceded on my behalf. I immediately felt the most powerful presence of the Lord as His light filled my soul. I sobbed and begged the Lord for forgiveness for my silence. In this moment of hopelessness and despair, I found hope. I had been silent before God, but He was speaking volumes to me. I began to once again cling to His promises that He will never leave us, nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Here is a loving Father who watched His Son be crucified, declaring to the world, “I feel your pain, every single bit of it.”    

As I continue to work through my grief, I know God wants to hear everything that is on my heart. He desires complete honesty from His children. Whether we are angry, or questioning His goodness, or lost in a sea of hopelessness, God is near. He waits with open arms for us to fly to Him and weep within the warmth of His embrace. He can bring comfort like no one else can. Our prayers for Larry were that he would be completely healed. God did answer that prayer; just not the way we expected. Larry wasn’t healed on earth, but he is FULLY RESTORED and in the arms of Jesus. What brings me joy is knowing that the hope we have in and through Christ Jesus assures us that we will be with each other again.

Heavenly Father, thank You that our freedom to be openly angry and sorrowful are reflections of our assurance that nothing we do or feel can separate us from Your love. Thank You for those You put in our lives to intercede on our behalf when we have no words. Thank You for Your precious gift of salvation where death has been defeated and eternity awaits. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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