Friday, February 1, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Pain

by Marsha Loftis

This Weeks’ Verse: Micah 7:19, "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." (NIV)

1. gross injustice or wickedness.
2. a violation of right or duty; wicked act; sin.

I dreamt of a woman walking along a beach. I couldn't see her face but I knew her. I knew how she felt, why she was there, and everything about her.

She was searching for a lost love. A love named Pain. They were inseparable. No one could tell where she stopped and Pain began. They did everything together. They ate together, slept together, even went to work together.

None of her friends liked Pain. Everyone told her she deserved better. She deserved to live her life without Pain. Most of the time she wouldn't listen. She couldn't imagine her life without Pain. What would she do? Where would she go? Who would she hang around with? Still her friends persisted, hoping that something would get through.

As the days went by she realized that something was missing in her life. A void that Pain could no longer fill. She tried to separate herself from Pain. She really did! But Pain was relentless. He followed her everywhere. He followed her to work, when she went out with her friends. He even followed her into new relationships! None of them lasted, of course. Not with Pain right there, hounding, stalking, never leaving her alone.

One day, she met someone who said he was The One who could take care of her Pain. Replace him. Make it so Pain would never hurt her again. "How?" she asked. "What would you do?"

"I would take your Pain and throw him into the sea for all the hurt and injustice he has caused you," He told her. "All you have to do is ask and believe that I can make it so."

In an instant, she felt better! Lighter! Her Pain was gone. Relieved. But then she got scared. Pain had been such a huge part of her life. How could she go on? She began to doubt what The One had told her.

She had to find Pain! She went to the beach, looking and calling out for him. But she heard no response. Into the water she dove, down, down deep into the mud and muck searching for her Sweet, Sweet Pain. At last, she felt something! She struggled with all her might to bring her Pain to the surface...

Even though I never see her face, I KNOW HER...It's me. And it's you. It's every woman who's ever prayed "Father God, please take this pain away." And then dives into the murky water, time and time again struggling to revive the very thing that should forever remain forgotten at the bottom of the sea.

There are so many types of pain. For each one God has the answer. In order to move past the pain, you must move into frightening territory. A place called FORGIVENESS. You may have to start by forgiving yourself. Maybe you caused some of the pain you're in by making wrong choices. Maybe you need to forgive others. Were you teased for being wonderfully different? Were you looked over for a promotion? Had your heart broken into? Some of you beautiful souls are dealing with the pain of mental, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

Beloved, please don't use the very breath God gave you to resuscitate the Pain you asked Him to take away. Leave it at the bottom of the sea.

Heavenly Father, I pray that you begin to heal those of us walking along the shore, ready to head for the deep one more time. I pray you'll constantly remind us of who you are...Wonderful, Counselor, Forgiver and our extra strength Pain Reliever! So that we may be constantly reminded of who WE are in You...Forgiven, Beloved, Chosen, Child of God. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Practice forgiving yourself. In order to be successful at anything, it takes practice. (Don't expect to get it right the first time, either.) Pray earnestly about each type of pain you are dealing with. Look up verses concerning each hurt and speak them out loud. There's power in The Word!

Power Verses:
Matthew 6:14-15, "In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."(MSG)

Philippians 4:6-7, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and prayers shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns."(MSG)

Galations 2:20, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."(NLT)

Romans 12:19, "Dearly Beloved, avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord." (KJV)


Kathy said...

Marsha, this is such an honest portrayal of what we do! We give up something ugly (Praise Jesus--he takes it!) but then we try to dredge it up and cling to it. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful heart and reminding us that Jesus is our extra-strength Pain reliever! (I loved that!)

Anonymous said...


Awesome devotion! Thanks for being real to all of us. It's not only inspiring, it's refreshing!

You're absolutely right! Just when we decide to throw the pain in the bottom of the sea (where it belongs), we move heaven and earth to go pick it right back up!

I loved the prayer! That's a keeper to use over and over again!

Sara Boyer

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring devotion Marsha!!!

Thank you for thinking of me and directing me to The Olive Branch.

I think it is great that you share your thoughts, heart and prayers, as they are honest, beutiful and inspiring.

Carol Carpenter

Anonymous said...

Marsh, Thanks for going into unknown "blogging" territory so that we may be blessed by your insights. Haven't we all done that?! Pray to let the pain be taken from us, only to go retrieve it so we can lug it around some more. May we remember to leave it where it belongs, with Jesus, so we can go forward more freely! Kim

Anonymous said...

WOW girl that was awesome... It touched me deeply...thank you for sharing that.... Right now in my life that touches me on a very "real" level... Thank you...
Tina Craig