Is God still good...even when he allows pain? Even when hes says "no" to our prayers?
Last night I began to experience the most excruciating pain I had even known was possible. The pain was in my lower back and nearly reached an intolerance that brought me to tears. I took ibuprofen hoping it would subside the pain, praying it was only slight inflammation and over use. After all I carry around a 20 lbs. baby all day. I laid there awake last night begging God to heal me, I began to throw myself a little pity party.
I began begging God to heal me! Pleading with him to rescue me from the pain, to have mercy on me! After all, I have a 13 month old who needs mommy to be strong! I was no longer able to care for my little love! This was just not fair! I couldn't nurse her, bathe her, carry, hold, or play with her. I could do nothing for her, and nothing with her. So not only was I now in physical pain, I was also in emotional pain.
Naturally sleep eluded me. I was completely unable to lay in any position that would bring even the slightest relief. Again I lay awake begging God to take this pain away! To have mercy on me and touch me! I mustered up all the faith I possibly could, even bargaining with Him that I would read my bible more and make a better effort to be a "good" christian, as I could really earn his love right? My roommate prayed for my back as well. Nope. The pain was still there. Maybe God will hear my prayers and heal me as I sleep. When I wake I will feel refreshed and pain free!
When I woke up I completely expected a medical miracle! I was sure that God had heard my prayers, that I would miraculously be able to walk pain free!
Then, I stepped out of bed..."Oh my God! Please heal me!!!" I could barely walk now. Hunched over like a woman long into her senior years I hobbled my way around the house. I cried in the shower, as I could not even accomplish washing my hair without wanting to scream out profane words combined with bitter phrasing. I just endured a 4 hour lecture in class today, for all of which I was unlucky enough to have to sit through! At one point, I stood in the back just so I could pay attention through the tears!
Now I sit in a local Starbucks waiting for my oldest to get out of school. I began to think about how I view pain and God. If God really loved me, why would he not answer such a genuine prayer? Why is he content to do nothing? Isn't my pain important to him? Does he not clearly see I am unable to fully care for my infant? Why would he sit by and do nothing as I suffer so greatly? Didn't he care? Didn't he see? The longer I thought about it, I realized this one truth. God is still good.
Should God choose to heal me, or allow me to suffer through this trying experience, he is still GOOD. My pain does not change God's anything about God's perfect character. It does not change his affections towards me. I hate the cliche' "everything happens for a reason." I really do. Yet here I am coming to the conclusion that God allows things in our lives for a reason. He is allowing everything all around us, every little moment in our lives to shape our faith and relationship with him. To sharpen us as true disciples, who are honest reflections of his mercy and grace to the world. It is how I choose to respond to this pain that He is looking for. Will I whine and curse God, grouching my way to the sofa to induce an ice cream coma? Or will I quiet my heart and know, I mean really know that this is for my good? This relentless pain is shaping my prayers, forcing me to exercise my trust, my patience, and my willingness to endure to the end of this.
It is forcing me to actually be aware of the words I speak, are they of death: Oh this sucks! I'm so irritated! I can't do anything! Why God are you not healing me!!! It hurts so damn bad!!) or will I speak words of life: I trust you father. I want what ever you want for me. If that is healing, thank you! If it is to wait, and be still and know you are still God despite my pain, then yes... you are STILL GOOD.