Entering the pain with God

By Dave Henning / October 26, 2023

“We tend to hide in the weeds of distractions, denials, and details — anything to avoid the quiet, open spaces in which our doubts are deafening.  Instead of entering the pain with God, we avoid the pain and God.  Each choice to hide adds another layer that insulates our hearts from knowing the fullness of God’s love.”- Alicia Britt Chole

In Chapter 10 (“A Spiritual Exfoliate”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole observes that God designed some flowers to bloom at night.  Thus, moonlight, not sunlight, triggers plants like the evening primrose, moonflower, and night phlox.  Similarly, Dr. Chole stresses, it’s only possible to exercise and display some aspects of the love of God in the darkness.

Certainly, the author acknowledges, life sure can bite us.  Hence, shocked that God failed to protect us from the pain, we find it easy to isolate ourselves from Him.  Through spiritual self-protection we distance our hearts from faith, hope, and love to avoid further disappointment.

Therefore, Dr. Chole counsels:

“Barring an intervention of grace, self-protection is self-perpetuating.  And unexpectedly, deliverance comes in the form of disillusionment. . . .  In this way, disillusionment acts like a spiritual exfoliate sloughing off layers of self-protections and leaving us raw, sensitive and vulnerable to God’s love. . . .  I don’t think Satan’s goal is creating pain.  Satan’s goal is creating distance.  Toward this end, he can use pain or pleasure equally.”

Moving on to Chapter 11 (“Yellow Jackets”), Dr. Chole notes the importance of asking sincere questions.  Therefore, to silence sincere questions weakens faith.  Because, Dr. Chole asserts, faith isn’t an airy substance that rests on unquestioning souls.  Rather, biblical faith thickens its muscles more through trial than ease.

In conclusion, Dr. Chole encourages:

“As the balloon pops once again we are faced with a decision: Will we keep following Him?  Will we commit and . . . re-center and persist? . . .  Within those nights our simple, sincere, and passionate praise about God’s love gives way to a seasoned, sturdy, and more mature faith in God’s love.”

Consequently, we must be honest when we are disillusioned with God to strengthen our faith in God.

Today’s question: What most helps you in entering the pain with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Spiritual pain – senseless?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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