rebelling against low expectations

Why We Must Worship God Amidst our Pain


Pain is a recurring theme in my life.

That statement is not meant to garner pity, nor is it meant to add shock value to this particular article.

In fact, I do not even consider it worth a special or unique pity. Pain is a commonality that all humans face.

It is simply a part of life.

Pain has been a more prominent part of my life since 2016, when I became ill with a nervous system disorder that caused me frequent and intense pain.

Today I was acutely reminded of that pain, however.

I laid in bed for hours today, dangerously close to the pit of bitterness and despair.

I watched my clock in agony as the hours of my class periods ticked by, one after another. I kept thinking that maybe I would be able to make the next one. I never did.

Questions and doubts that are all too familiar began to bubble over from the depths of my heart.

God, why won’t you take this pain away?

As God often and so graciously does, he opened my eyes to something that really comforted my doubting heart. I opened the Psalms and began reading from Psalm 66, half expecting to be met with one of David’s many heartfelt expressions of despair.

At least if I’m in pain, I can relate to someone.

But that is not what I found.

Psalm 66 is a beautiful Psalm of praise which details the works of an amazing and worship-worthy God: “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.”

Reading this psalm stopped me in my pitiful, bitter tracks. My day was miserable, and the pain nearly unbearable. However, I have lost sight of just how much my awesome God has done.

Pain was clouding a very important reality. If God never takes away my pain, he is still good.

He has done such great and gracious things for me despite the fact that I was not owed anything but death and separation forever.

“Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”

This is the God I serve. The one who keeps my soul in the land of the living even when he allows me to go through trials. He patiently brings me through fire and water by walking with me, not waiting for me at the end.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.”

Here I sit on my dorm room bed, telling you what God has done for my soul.

Jesus Christ has so graciously saved this dark and wretched soul that was bound for eternity in Hell.

He gave up everything to call me his.

He suffered all so that I could know love.

And even if I spend the rest of my life burdened by pain I do not understand, I understand this: God is still good, and he is worthy to be praised.

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About the author

Alathia Hayes

is a graciously forgiven college sophomore whose broken soul has been mended by the Author of life. She has a passion for helping children and other teens know how much they are loved. When she’s not studying, you will likely find her playing piano, sipping on a cup of coffee, perusing local used book shops, or participating in an epic round of Mario Kart with her brothers.

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By Alathia Hayes
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →