When Helping Hurts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen doing the right thing makes my soul hurt and the people I love to hate me. When God fulfills a prayer I wasn’t ready to face the answer to (“If it takes him hitting a brick wall mentally to find you, Jesus, then do it.”) When life is a sad, sad thing despite the gorgeous colors of fall, and “cast your cares upon Him” feels next to impossible because I hold my “cares” so close now. And they hold me, but I am not ready to give them up. When people ask “How are you?” and I say “Allright.” and feel like I am lying. When helping hurts so deeply that I don’t want to smile or face another day. Even then, even now, God is still good. He is still working all things together for good even when my eyes (seeing dimly, as if in a mirror) can’t see it.

It is ironic because his roadblock to believing in God is why God allows the seemingly meaningless suffering. That if He could stop it but doesn’t He must not be good. And there I was, praying that if it took suffering to bring him to God for God to do it. And here I am suffering the consequences. “There’s nothing that I’d take back, but it’s hard to say there’s nothing I regret.” Breaking trust for the greater good hurts. I hate hurting people. It makes me hate myself. Plus, trust is not an easy thing to regain; being shunned hurts too. People say it will be ok in the end. And I tell them just to let me wallow in my sadness.  Maybe some other day I will try being an optimist, but probably not.

I hate hurting people. But I am human, and despite all of my good intentions, when I try to know people for real and help them I often eventually hurt them as a side effect. Sometimes that pain was necessary and sometimes not. But  because I feel their hurt I end up hurting myself just as badly. And then I ask God why this was necessary in the bigger picture. Did I do something He didn’t want? Or is he using this, pushing us deeper into the hurt so that he can more fully heal us? His ways are not my ways. His  wisdom is beyond me. In my studying on suffering to answer my friend’s questions I re-read the first chapter of Lee Stroble’s book The Case for Faith and re-encountered this poem that captures everything in vague but beautiful way. So I think I will end with it…

“Day by day, hour by hour

Pain drips upon the heart.

As against our will, and even in our own despite

Comes wisdom from the awful grace of God.”



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One thought on “When Helping Hurts

  1. Awww 😥
    There’s someone I pray for that he would come to the end of himself and turn to Jesus…but it’s also a frightening thing to think of how far he’ll have to fall before he reaches the bottom.

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