Call on God: Only He can bring peace from pain
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, April 14, 2018
“The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayers.” — Psalms 6:9 (The Bible, New International Version)
Have you ever worried about your health? Prayed for healing and not received it? Been sick with grief? Worried to the point of sleepless nights? Wondered why in the world God was so angry with you? Been so upset that your bones hurt? Been bothered to the point of agony? Cried all night? Been so tired from the troubles of life that your eyes hurt? Vexed over why in the world is God missing? Asked how long will God wait? Been upset over those who chose to wrong you?
These are David’s thoughts in Psalm 6 where we find his prayer for healing. It is hard for some to believe that the Bible is so genuine with raw human emotions and struggles in life. The words here relate to both internal illness and external enemies. This prayer reflects severe pain and deep depression, but also faith and relief in presence of God. One finds a process for healing embedded in this petition: a call to God (verses 1-5), a complaint to God (verses 6-7), and then a renewed confidence in God (verses 8-10).
In times of deep pain, do not hesitate to call to God. We have a God who desires to heal us — “for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26b). God’s salvation includes healing. Remember that, according to the physician Luke, Jesus sent his followers out to “proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:2). So take comfort in the fact that God’s pattern is to heal the broken. His love is unfailing, so call to Him. You will find relief.
If our prayers are not honest, then they are not prayers. The emotional anatomy of a man’s illness is complex: groaning, crying, sleeplessness, body aches, confusion. The results are pain deep in the bones and heavy in the eyes. David holds nothing back. His gripe session with God is the result of the turmoil in his life. So when pain is larger than life, do what David did: talk honestly with God. So many times in prayer we try to convince God we are fine. Why? Do we think God will be disappointed in our failure to deal with life? Do we think God will be overwhelmed by our lack of faith? Do we think God cannot handle our situation? Trust me, my friend, God can.
The chains of sin, sickness and judgment from others result in our deepest struggles. These chains can be broken if we talk with God, are genuine in our pain, and choose to accept that God can. We will find rest in God’s arms. Healing in the pain. We will come to understand that peace is the not absence of pain but the presence of God (Philippians 4:4-6). God’s mercy and love are never-ending and shine brightest in the darkest moments of our lives. Indeed, illness is complex. But God can bring harmony. Those who would do you harm often surround you. But God stands beside you. So keep on. Keep on praying. Keep on talking with God. Keep on trusting.
We believe and know that the God who created us can heal us. We believe God hears our cries for relief. God accepts and can more than handle the role of healer. He is Jehovah RAPHA – The God Who Heals.
Dr. D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of MACU.