Why has my pain been perpetual
And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will you indeed be to me like a deceptive brook
With water that is unreliable?
Jeremiah 15:18 AMP
Chapter 15 of Jeremiah is an exchange between God and Jeremiah regarding captivity for Israel. Jeremiah is bold and transparent as he speaks with God. He complains about how lonely he is, and he talks about the pain that he lives with, feeling the pain and fear of his fellow Israelites. Jeremiah hates having to prophesy such things, and he is about as sad as a man can possibly become. Jeremiah has no one to share his experience with, and no one to talk to. He feels hurt by what is going on around him and by God.
Everyone of us knows hurt and pain, and what Jeremiah admits is that his pain and hurt caught him off guard because he is God’s prophet. Some of us have the impression that God ought to exempt us from experiencing hurt because we are saved. Jeremiah believes this so much that he uses the image of God being a dried up, deceptive brook.
While we might not call God deceptive, all of us have been hurt enough to wonder if God lied to us when He told us about grace. We often remember how powerful God is in the midst of our pain and we believe that He has been unfair or dishonest because He does not shield us from life’s many arrows, even when those arrows come from other Christians.
However, many times our hurt takes us to places that we’ve locked away instead of dealt with. As long as no one pushes our buttons or says the wrong thing, that old nature is suppressed. But, every so often people will get to us, and we prove to those people that we haven’t been totally sanctified.
Instead of allowing hurt to take us back to our old nature, we should bring our hurt to God, but we need to be willing to wait for Him to answer. Just like Jeremiah was transparent with God in verse 18, we need to stick around for God to answer us like He does for Jeremiah in verse 19: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman” (AMP).
There is life after hurt. We don’t have to live with hurt suffocating us like a blanket. We can live on after we’ve been hurt. There may be lingering pain or wounds, but the fact that many people have been hurt in life-shattering ways and continue on proves to us that there is life after hurt.
We can take God’s words to heart and address hurt. To do this we need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. There is no value in feeling sorry for ourselves, and God makes it clear to Jeremiah that worthy, not worthless, words are what will help Jeremiah. What God implies to Jeremiah is that He is not going to work on Jeremiah’s heart in this season, He is going to work on his attitude.
Our hearts are strong enough to get hurt and keep on ticking, so when we are hurt, we need to check our self-pity at the door and take that time to examine our attitude towards the situation. When we approach these situations with love and healing in mind, only then can the hurt be dealt with.