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Hidden Pain

Today’s Reflection

WE HIDE our hurts for many reasons; and in the short term, this instinct might have some positive outcomes. For instance, we might be praying about something painful in order to discern the best next steps. But there is a difference between waiting and hiding.

Hiding our pain can lead to long-term emotional and physical problems. Hiding pain isolates us. It also keeps us from living into the fullness God intended. Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NRSV).

God does not want our lives to be muted by hidden pain. God wants abundance for us, and the world needs our free and powerful experience and expression of God’s love.

devozine, March-April 2018

From “Hiding Pain” by Steve Matthews, pages 20-21 in devozine, the devotional lifestyle magazine for teens, March-April 2018. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where do you sense God is offering you abundant life? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9, NRSV

This Week: Pray for persons who are experiencing new beginnings. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: John of God (March 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 9, 2018, 3:42 am

    I fear I sound like a broken record…in the midst of all that is happening – God offers me His abundant Presence, His sure Love, His lasting Peace. The assurance I have experienced these past months has been “otherly”, something I had never experienced before. And, while others have described it for themselves – I could not begin to know how blessed it would be. And now it floods in and I am sustained by Him. Such abundant Grace.
    My mom’s name is Gloria and my dad’s name is Larry. I appreciate each of you offering diligent prayers for them, as well as for my sister and myself. Mom has had two good days in a row and I am hoping for another today. The mood in the house is significantly improved and my dad is more at ease. It is so encouraging.
    Prayers for Mary as a new job opportunity arises. Father – give her discernment with upcoming decisions and strength as she continues to care for her parents. Prayers of healing for Marcy, Annaliese, Andrea’s husband, and Julie. Prayers of stick-to-it-ness for Andrea and Lou for the tasks at hand.
    Father – You cast out fear and call us to You. Lead us into obedience.

    • Betsy March 9, 2018, 6:59 am

      Jill, your faith is an encouragement to us all. Praying that Gloria and Larry continue their slow improvement. As spring arrives, hoping they will emerge stronger and renewed.

      • Marcy March 9, 2018, 4:18 pm

        Jill, yes, what Betsy says is so true of you! I continue to pray for your Mom, Gloria, and your Dad, Larry, that God always holds them close and heals them. I pray for release and time for yourself for you, even if it’s just a little time. I’m in awe of your staying power and know it is of God. Prayers for your sister too. Recent events have seemed to bring you closer, even if you have to tread softly at times. Thank you for your prayers for me. I remain much in need of them.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 9, 2018, 4:31 am

    Thanks so much Jill

    May God grant you, your parents and sister the joy of His presence and abundant life!

    Interview went well. I shall be informed when to start. Today, i managed to feed my mum dinner. Grateful that she had good appetite and is in a good mood. She managed to finished all her porridge and an orange.

    Opportunity also to practise walking with my dad yesterday. Not easy but very grateful for his recovery.

    Blessings to all

    • robert moeller March 9, 2018, 10:00 am

      Mary, I hope and pray that this new job is what God has in mind for you. Teaching is dear to you and students will benefit from your work.

      Thankful your Mum is eating well and your Dad is taking steps. So glad they both have you to help them. It is also a blessing that you have siblings to help.

    • Marcy March 9, 2018, 4:22 pm

      Praise God, sweet sister Mary, you are away from that job. I continue to keep your Mom and Dad in my prayers. Your doctor Dad sounds like he can’t wait to get out and about again. I pray everything turns out well for your plans, whatever they may be. Thank you for praying for me.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 9, 2018, 10:10 pm

        Thanks so much Robert and Marcy for your prayers!

        Robert praying that your hacked account will be solver very soon and Marcy that your heakth and sifuation will improve.

        Blessings to all and have a wonderful weekend!

    • Marcy March 9, 2018, 4:24 pm

      Sorry, Mary! Don’t know where “doctor” even came from. Meant just “Dad”.

    • Connie March 10, 2018, 9:27 am

      Yay, Mary!

  • robert moeller March 9, 2018, 4:54 am

    I feel a sense of God’s abundant life being back in my home state after almost 49 years away. I’m in the Green Mountains not far from where I was born.

    Today’s familiar scripture was more prominent today after reading the findings of a study that said many Protestants today believe both good works and faith are needed to go to heaven and not faith alone. I believe good works are a result of faith.

    Thankful for Gloria’s two good days and yes, I believe we all hope for more.
    Continued prayers for Gloria, Larry, Jill, and her sister, now we need her name too.

    Despite the loss of Isis, my bank account being hacked, and a challenge to pay my taxes, I, feel sustained, positive, supported. Thank You, Lord. A wonderful Lenten lunch on a snowy day yesterday , a positive counseling session, a nice time with Pearl, and a delicious supper with Erich were all blessings.

    Prayers for Marcy, hope to read a post from her soon, thankful there is good progress on house repairs, a new and so far so good close by doctor for Anneliese, and appointments with doctors to help with the heart on the way.
    Prayers for Julie’s hands and foot. Spring comes to Pittsburgh sooner than Vermont so warmth is on the way. Prayers for Mary and her career decision.
    Thankful her Dad is home and doing well. Strength and fortitude for Lou,
    peace and rest for Betsy, I pray that all of the UR family’s needs are met. Thank You, Lord.

    • Marcy March 9, 2018, 4:51 pm

      Robert, I’m glad you caught the hacking when you did, still grieve with you over Isis, and am happy you got your taxes taken care of. I am thankful to our Father, God in heaven for your Lenten lunch, Pearl’s ability to entertain you, successful counseling sessions and your wonderful suppers with your son, Erich. You’re right. These are precious blessings.

      Hiding pain is what I’ve been doing for weeks, now. I won’t go into it at this time, but mentally, one thing after another has taken its toll. Mental health is such a difficult area to treat. I seem to have nothing good to offer, just more lamentations. Just one victory on the healthcare front would ease some worry.

      Thank you, Robert, for continuing to keep me in your prayers and for countless wise words and thoughts you’ve shared with all of us. I continue to be in need of your wisdom and experience, as others have mentioned.

  • Carol March 9, 2018, 5:44 am

    Hi dear friends, I think I have mentioned my husband of 40 yrs marriage who has had ferocious hidden pain. Only God can unlock a locked heart. I ask for prayer to our God to turn the key so this man can live truly. Thank you for your love and each ones endurance. Carol

    • robert moeller March 9, 2018, 10:06 am

      Carol, I’m praying for your husband’s “ferocious hidden pain.” Yes, God can and does open hearts when we can not.

      I think the expectations of society are that a man holds in his problems and does what is needed despite them. It’s no wonder we have so many with PTSD. Thankfully, attitudes are changing and help is available.

    • Marcy March 9, 2018, 4:59 pm

      Carol, I am praying for your husband, Robin, for God to step in and release his inner ravages of pain. I can relate. Know that in this also, there is healing from our Father, one step at a time. Also, I pray for you, for God to strengthen you as you are there for your husband. God bless you and keep you both!

  • Julie March 9, 2018, 8:15 am

    As I have related previously, I tend to hide my pain. I am loathe to draw attention to myself. But, I need help.
    Yesterday my “husband” left the house before 5am. He had not come home when I went to bed. During the night he texted that he would not be home because he was on meds following an operation. I did not know about the operation. I asked where he was. He texted me back this am that he is at his friend Bob’s. I have never heard of this person. I texted back and forth with him a few times and have learned that he had an operation for a hernia and is on vicodin and will be staying at Bob’s at least until tomorrow. That is literally all I knoow and the first I have heard of ANY of this. I am floored, speechless and floundering. Any words or thoughts would be appreciated. I have no other friends so this is the only outlet I have and the only chance to process this.
    Prayers for each of you
    To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

    • robert moeller March 9, 2018, 10:14 am

      Love the quote from Confucius and believe it is true.

      More importantly I pray for you and your husband. My understanding of you is clearer than my understanding of your husband. I’m guessing as that is what I do when I have little information to work with. Perhaps you husband is trying to keep you from worrying, although letting you know what is happening and where he’s going would certainly help. Thankfully, he’s had the surgery, is ok, and has a place to go where he can recover. I’m grateful that you have your daughter to help you, you are not alone. God is most certainly watching over you. I am sure that the UR family is praying for you.

    • Carol March 9, 2018, 10:32 am

      Dear Julie: if I were sitting across from you – maybe having a coffee, what would I say. Firstly that I’m sorry you don’t have support but I would also say, Confucius is dead but Christ Jesus is not. Turn to Him Julie and ask what you should do. Though maybe you don’t know Him, He knows of you and wants to be in your life. Ask him to come into your life, give him all that disturbs you and He will work on your behalf because He does love you and wants you to know He is God the all mighty God.

      • Marcy March 9, 2018, 5:23 pm

        Julie, my friend, I believe Andrea is correct that the best thing for you would be to get out of this marriage. I, too, stayed in my marriage due to my inability to work enough to care for myself until the damage outweighed the fear of how I would survive. I discovered SSI, Food Stamps and subsidized housing. Not the greatest, but not homeless. I lived in the bedrooms of three people, again not great, before I got an apartment. It wasn’t easy, still isn’t, but I wake up some mornings thinking I’m still under the same roof with him, until I realize it’s over. It’s been nine years I’ve been away. I was married to him 19 years. I wouldn’t go back to that ever again. You have your daughter, maybe you could live together. I just don’t want to see another woman, especially you, Julie, so kind and accepting, suffer the ongoing pain such treatment brings. It changes a person. I don’t claim to know what’s possible for you either. I just know I care about you, recognize certain aspects I experienced and can tell you life can be so much better, especially with the help of your daughter! I hope I haven’t said too much or put a foot wrong. Please know it comes from love in my heart for you.

      • Julie March 9, 2018, 6:19 pm

        Carol, you are obviously new here. Of course, I know Jesus. Also, the quotes I share are from a lovely book and are dated for each day.

  • Andrea March 9, 2018, 10:07 am

    Your husband was thoughtless, even cruel, to not let you know about his operation, to just disappear on you. I wish you could separate and live free of this man, if that would be possible for you financially and otherwise. (He owes you.) The current situation must be a huge physical and emotional drain on you. In my mind, even if it means a simpler home, it would be worth it for you to be away from him. But I do not know what is possible and best for you. After all the advice you receive, you need to listen to your own voice. I will pray for your guidance, support, and well-being.

  • robert moeller March 9, 2018, 10:19 am

    Yes, Andrea, I think there is a better solution to this situation.

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