There is something about pain that opens our eyes to shallow, insincere religion. The platitudes it offers are so useless to help that they grate on our ears and our souls. We see as repulsive the hollow advice that comes from people whose religion goes no deeper than a habit of going to church. It’s as though pain gives us x-ray vision to see the shallowness for what it is.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
“God did this for a reason.”
“If you just trust God, then everything will be OK.”
Trite religion and heartless platitudes sound great when life is rosy. Their simplistic answers mesh with our light-hearted view of life. When life gets hard, the whirlwinds of pain devour them and reveal their utter uselessness. Trite religion isn’t able to touch our pain. Its ineffectiveness makes it repulsive to our broken hearts.
Job lost his children, his health, his wealth, his friends, his influence. Three of his friends sat with him in his misery. They conjured up a multitude of religions platitudes. None of them helped with his suffering. Religion did nothing to answer Job’s questions or soothe his sorrow.
Job’s healing occurred when he encountered God. The Creator introduced Job to His power, His knowledge, and His love. When Job bowed down in reverence to One greater than himself, he found, not answers, but comfort and healing.
There is only one Person who is big enough to comfort our deepest pain. We find Him in these dark places where all we can do is cry out in desperation. We beg for help because we know we cannot make it another day with this heavy load of our pain.
·When you know that God did not cause your pain, you realize that the Pandora’s box of sin is to blame.
·When you realize how much God loves you, you can rest in His embrace.
·When you realize that God’s ways are vastly higher than ours, you can trust His plan to redeem the pain.
“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.”
Isaiah 53:3 NLT
You realize that God is weeping with you, for He too has suffered. You realize that He is by your side, holding your hand. You realize that He not only understands your inability to pray, but that He is praying for you.
This is where trite religion is blown away by the living presence of God Himself. Healing begins…sometimes all at once and sometimes in tiny, almost unobservable increments.
Once you experience the Creator, the cheap substitute of trite religion will never again satisfy. You will seek the Source of life itself.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
Carol is a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women's Ministry. Having grown up in church, life made her dissatisfied with empty religious traditions and trite answers. She discovered that Jesus alone is the way to real life and true contentment. Ever stumbling and learning herself, she invites her readers to experience God's love and forgiveness like never before. Read more at CarolDunfee.com.