One of my favorite words in the English language is “bittersweet.” It’s sort of like the well-known announcement, “I’ve got good news and bad news. Which do you want first?” This picturesque term always reminds me that many occurrences in life fall simultaneously into the glad/sad category, bringing forth both emotions at once.
We wonder, How can something be both bitter and sweet at the same time? It can only be so because of God’s great power and grace! As you have probably already experienced, it is God and God alone who is able to sweeten what is bitter (Exodus 15:23-25), to make the one who is sad become glad (Psalm 30:11), and to turn something bad into something good (Romans 8:28). Therefore…
When your heart hurts… pray! Dare to step into the heart-wrenching cries of Psalm 55. It contains much-needed instruction for your own hurting, bewildered heart. Here you learn lessons for living life and about praying from a wounded heart. Evil and treachery, along with personal agony, caused David to cry out and contend with God:
Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily… My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me (see verses 1-2,4).
When you are driven to distraction by the assaults of others, when you are wrestling with despair, when all seems hopeless — like David — put your God-given faith to work and trust in the Lord.
And what will happen when you turn to God in prayer during your times of distress and pain? Your bitter ordeal will be sweetened. In your bad times — when your soul is hurting and your need for God’s gentle touch is at its greatest, when your heavy heart is the most sensitive — your prayers will be the most sweet and rewarding. Please don’t wish these times away! Some of your most meaningful fellowship with God will come when you contend with Him over your hurting heart. So fly away in prayer… and rest in Him.