When Pain Surprises You

They gathered there smiling, hands to their sides, drawn inexplicably.

“That baby is dorable [adorable],” J nods and smiles.

“Your baby is perfect,” E chimes in.

“So cute,” L agrees.

My heart clenches to see them huddle around the baby carrier, awe on their faces.

I wonder to myself, “Why can’t we have more? Look at them. O God help me.”

My emotions fly everywhere as I finish my conversation with the baby’s grandma. Her gentle coos and sweet smiles touch my heart and rip it open at it at the same time. The pain of what is not nearly brought me to tears.

But softly in the pain a nudge to praise. “Thank You God for the three children you gave me. Thank You God for never leaving me. Thank You God for Your perfect plan. Help me please.”

The pain lingers and questions continue to flow. But in the midst of the pain something new. Peace entwines the pain, trust soothes the questions, as gratitude invites the presence of the King. He inhabits the praises of His people [Psalm 22:3]. In the pain praise brings the presence that changes things. His presence brings hope for He is able. His presence ushers in peace because He has plans.

When pain surprises me searching for gratitude changes things. Gratitude ushers me into the presence of God. His presence may not relieve the pain, but it transforms the pain. The pain has purpose. I may never understand the purpose, but I trust God knows. His presence gives me that assurance.

What does His presence do for you?