Posts tagged: pain

Why am I in Pain?

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By Paula Marolewski, July 11, 2010 4:21 pm

It’s easy to get tied in mental knots when we are in pain. Sometimes we assume that God causes all our pain, or that all pain is the direct result of our sin. If you are in pain today, consider the following – I hope it will help restore your theological balance, and therefore your ability to move forward through your pain:

  • Some pain is simply the result of the world being fallen. Things like sickness or natural disasters, over which we have no control. When catastrophe strikes, the good and the evil (and everyone in between) all suffer together.
  • Some pain is the result of our past decisions. There are consequences to our actions. Some consequences take years to work through and work out. But don’t ever think that God is up there gloating that you are in pain, or saying, “Well, he/she really deserves this!” No. Nix. Never. He was – and is – so concerned about helping you (no matter what the problem is that you are facing) that he sent Jesus to die for you and rise from the dead, so that you can have the power of the resurrection itself working on your behalf. 
  • Some pain is the result of other people’s sin, like when one spouse abuses another the other. God doesn’t cause that: he doesn’t want it; he doesn’t desire it. He permits it because that was the cost of giving us free will. To step in and prevent us from hurting each other would, in fact, be negating the freedom of action that was his greatest gift to us when he made us in his image. But his heart breaks every time we hurt each other, and he stands ready and waiting to help us when we call on him. 
  • And occasionally – just occasionally – God may actually send pain our way by his direct action. If he does, we can be sure that it is always for our own good, and that he never sends pain without also sending the grace to see us through it.


God is with you in your pain. He loves you. He will see you through.


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

Unsearchable, Unfathomable

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By Paula Marolewski, May 3, 2010 10:26 am

Dedicated to the memory of Denton Conklin.

In Romans 11:33 we read, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

I’ve thought about that verse a lot lately. In July 2009, a good friend was killed instantly in a head-on car crash. He left behind a wife who suffers from a severe physical disability, and two children. He was a wonderful husband. An incredible Christian. A loyal friend.

And I ask God the age-old question:


Why did this happen? What purpose did it serve? Wouldn’t more glory have been brought to Jesus through my friend’s life and service on this earth? What of his family? Don’t you see their pain?


I don’t believe we will ever know “Why?” to many of the questions we ask. Especially when we are talking about deep things … the loss of a job, a spouse, a child, a friend, a ministry, a dream. We cry out in agony, “Why?” but heaven does not answer.

Why this divine silence? First, because of this simple truth: God’s ways, wisdom, and knowledge are unsearchable – unfathomable. He is God. We are not. I doubt we could understand the answers even if he were to tell us.

Second, because we are then presented with an important decision: will we choose to trust, love, obey, and praise God, even when we never know the “Why?” behind the tragedies we experience? Will we place our faith in his character?

Or, will we make our love for God conditional upon our understanding of him? If the latter, then aren’t we actually making ourselves equal with God – demanding that we know all that he does, and perhaps even requiring him to submit his decisions to us for our approval?

We can harbor bitterness and resentment against God when he does not answer our agonized “Why?” Or, we can by faith turn his very silence into a reason for praise, even though that praise may be mixed with tears:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

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Grace in Pain

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By Paula Marolewski, March 19, 2010 9:51 am

Today’s entry is an excerpt from the novel Meditations of a Slave. We often cling to the myth that the Christian life will be easy: no bumps, no fusses, no pain. But that – as the narrator below suddenly realizes – is not what Jesus promises: 

The pain grew more and more intense, and then, suddenly, something soothing and cool washed over me; and I froze again, but for a different reason. I, unlike your old master, never ask you to suffer needlessly. My grace always resurrects the suffering to create life. Do you trust me?

The words were a balm, and I paused in some timeless moment away from the pain of my leg to consider them. I only knew the punishment and driving presence of my old master. I wanted to believe that I would live happily now—despite what Paulos had told me.

But what my new Master promised was grace in pain, not painlessness. Grace meant that the suffering would always better me, and usually someone else as well. Grace meant that I’d be able to bear it. Grace meant that he’d be with me through it.


Questions to consider:

  • Do you wrestle with the concepts of pain and grace? Where do you struggle most?
  • What does it mean to you that God can redeem and resurrect your suffering – whatever the source of that suffering – to create life?


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

Like this? Read more at:  Meditations of a Slave

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Moving Toward Forgiveness

By Paula Marolewski, October 27, 2009 9:58 am

I’ve been considering forgiveness lately. Not forgiveness of the little slights and sins that come every day from rubbing shoulders with the rest of humanity. But forgiveness of the really egregious sins … forgiveness when real pain has been inflicted and real harm has been done, perhaps with malice aforethought.

The pain, the hurt, the grief that is caused by such acts as flagrant adultery, peddling drugs, physical abuse, etc. The list is a long one, highly individualized, and added to every day.

As I considered sin and our call to grant forgiveness, I was struck anew at how hard it is to forgive. And I believe that is, actually, appropriate.

After all, in order to offer true forgiveness, we have to come to grips with true evil. If we just flippantly say, “Yes, I forgive you!” but we have not truly understood either the corruption of the human heart or the pain such evil has caused another, our words are devoid of meaning. It is only after we have felt the horror of evil that our offer of forgiveness can be real.

Too often, however, we stop there. We are paralyzed by the evil, and so we cannot offer the balm of forgiveness.

It is vital to take the second step: to grasp the infinite love, grace, and forgiveness of God. Love that is greater than the horror of true evil. Grace that reaches to the unbelievable depths of corruption in the human heart. Forgiveness that calls the foulest sinner into perfect and intimate relationship with a holy God.

Only then – having truly comprehended both the nature of evil and the triumph of the Cross – can we then begin to extend fully the forgiveness of God to a needy world.


© 2009 Paula Marolewski,

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