When love hurts
Updated: Oct 20
Photo by Sean Boyd/Unsplash
Dr. Bascom Ratliff, Pastor
Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches
The inspiration for today’s message is from:
• James 5:13. Is anyone among you suffering; let them pray.
• Job 16:7. Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.
• Psalm 147:3. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
One of my more traumatic experiences happened when I was 26 years old and newly married. I was in the Army and stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. My wife and I were having marital difficulties, and she threatened to leave me. I still remember in vivid detail when I came home from work on a Friday evening and found that she and our daughter had left. I was initially surprised, but my surprise quickly turned to anger and hurt. Although we did have problems, I did not believe that she would actually leave me.
I believe that many of us have suffered similar traumas. When we are abandoned by a loved one or taken advantage of by someone we trust, we experience significant emotional trauma and pain that is indescribable. The love that had sustained us turns to frustration and anger. And when we are dealing with these emotional upsets, it is very difficult to pray or think. It is difficult to give our problems to God and we often find ourselves blaming God or others for our feelings of devastation and loss.
Job, during his suffering and loss, lamented, “O God, you have worn me out”. Like Job, when suffering loss, we feel devastated, isolated, and deserted. We seek comfort and understanding, but the hurt and pain are so overwhelming that we are seemingly unable to reason or make sense of what is happening to us.
My wife never returned and we eventually divorced. However, after my initial distress, I was able to pray and talk to a good friend about my feelings. I believe that God used my friend to help me make sense of what happened. God also permitted me to unload my burdens, my anger, and my resentment. As I gave these pains and problems to God, I began to experience healing.
As I have learned time and time again, God calls lovingly to us. He invites us to give our pain and problems to him. He promises to provide us healing and assurance. He also calls us to forgive, to love, and to grow.
God’s healing and mercy are available to all of us. Prayer is one of the more important tools that God provides us for renewal and change. Forgiveness and love opens our heart to better understanding and healing of our fractured relationships.
I understand that many times words and advice come too simply and readily when we are helping others who are hurting. I know firsthand the pain and frustration that come from lost and broken relationships. I also know that God stands ready to heal us, to comfort us, and to care for us. My hope and prayer for you is that you are willing to give God your hurts and pains. As difficult as it might be, I encourage you to trust God and to be open to his healing and care. I absolutely believe that God hears us and cares for us. Now, more than ever, is the right time to open your heart and mind to the love of Jesus Christ.
Seeking an Obedient and Authentic Service to Christ.
If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.
We will worship at the Parker United Methodist Church during October 2023.
We will worship at the Beagle UMC during November 2023.
We will worship at the Fontana UMC during December 2023.
All services are at 10 a.m.
All are welcome to worship in God’s House.
Dr. Bascom Ratliff (913-710-5748)
United Methodist Churches