Ouch! Thank You!

Pain or praise, wounds or worship?
Sometimes it felt like an elephant was stepping on my chest and I could hardly breathe.  Other times I’ve been prostrate before the Lord in hot tears and worship.  I’ve cried out to God, so forcefully that I’ve lost my voice and looked like a zebra because my mascara had run down my cheeks.  I’ve experienced severe pain, intense loss and grief. Exhausted and depleted, I have still been able to sense His comforting hand upon me.  Because God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit there has been a sense of release and relief.  Ouch! Thank you!
I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is close to me and is all around me.  I have a choice. I can focus on my pain or praise him in the pain. I can lick my wounds or worship.
He has been very near to me in my trials and in grief. I want to press in through praise and worship. God is good.
In the early stages of a time of great loss this song was balm for my sick soul.
Though You Slay Me – Shane and Shane featuring John Piper

God is with me in hard times, none of my suffering is wasted, and nothing can separate me from His love. I know this because of his word. Here are a few promises I will share with you. Stand on these promises as you raise your hands in worship to the one who made the promises. He is close to the broken hearted and He is faithful. So take heart!

1. God will be with you in hard times – God is our refuge and strength, and ever–present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam and the mountain quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1–3
2. God will not bring any unnecessary suffering into your life – Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.  For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Lamentations 3:32-33
3. Nothing can separate you from God’s love-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
Yes, the pain has been overwhelming at times but God has been an ever-present help in trouble.  That’s why I call it the Ouch! Thank You!