Slightly Obsessed #256: Silently, He Absorbs Your Pain


Because in much wisdom there is much grief; and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

– Ecclesiastes 1:18


A heavy dawn groans into a new day, dragging an underbelly full of yesterday’s burdens.

Like the clouds, I awaken gray. Whiny child inhabiting an elder’s body, my first lucid thought of the day is not one of joyful gratitude at the gift of life, but of overwhelming sadness.

Mostly, I hurt for my family. My children are all entering various stages of middle age. My grandchildren vary wildly in age, from their twenties to toddlerhood. My husband and I cherish all of them like the treasures they are.

We are overjoyed with their successes; devastated by their sorrows. In the hard seasons I awaken in the night to find my husband weeping for his family. We have spent many nights and days in a pain so deep I thought it would kill us.

Then I wonder.

How does my heavenly Father take it?

Of course, He’s God. We somehow equate His power and sovereignty with a certain coldness. He’s anything but distant, however. He is all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Because He’s all-knowing, He absorbs the pain of each sorrow.


With us. For us.

Because He’s all-present, He is closer than you could imagine.

He’s listening, holding you – heart and breath and soul – when you don’t even know He’s there.

And because He’s all-powerful, He’s working behind the scenes to give you the best possible outcome, even if you can’t see it now.

How do I know this? God has told me in His Word. And I’m a mom. He has taught me the power and pain of parental love.

In these weeks between our national celebration of moms and dads, I contemplate the divine source of the two strikingly contrasting and complementary roles. Everything good about a mother and a father comes from the mind of the Creator. Parenthood is the dual expression of His nature. He’s tender and gentle, but firm when necessary. He protects us but drives us upward, even when we resist Him. And when our sin breaks fellowship with Him, we never stop being His kids, because we wear His name.

When we hurt, God hurts.

When we find victory, He rejoices.

I remember this as the dark clouds release a gentle rain onto the parched earth. I remember heaviness comes before restoration, a night’s weeping before the joy in the morning. God is here, fully present in our sorrows and longing for us to understand He allows the pain to bring us home.


Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

– Psalm 56:8



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