Sarah Mae // incourage.me

She asks the same question over and over and over again.

She’s been asking since she was five.

“If God is good, why did He let evil into the world? Why did He create Satan?”

We have listened to her and talked through this question several times over the years, but it keeps coming back. We have told her that while we can do our best to answer and understand the world around us and God and His Word and good and evil, there are some things we can’t fully understand or answer on this earth.

Heaven abounds with answers and enlightenment, but here, we stumble a bit in the dark still.

She nods as though she understands. But then a few months later, the question comes up again. She’s stuck on it. It’s a question she will have to wrestle out with God over the years.

We all have things we get stuck on, things we can’t wrap our minds around or understand, and it can drive us crazy, if we let it.

Not too long ago, I was stuck on how God views women. I had been reading about David’s first wife, Mical (Me-call), and how she loved him so, but then, as the years went on, pain and hardship came in. Her father, Saul, pursued David to try and kill him. She was married off to another man. David gathered a few more wives to himself.

Eventually, over a political matter, David wanted Mical back. She was taken from her new husband and brought back to David. Mical, who was by this point not only hurt, but clearly angry, watched David from a window as he danced before the Lord. She was filled with “scorn.”

David went in to bless his family, including Mical, but she mocked him and threw venom at him with her words. He put her in her place, so to speak, and then all we know is that she “was barren the rest of her life.”

That’s it. That’s all we know. And as I read the story I felt angry myself. I had empathy for Mical. I’d be angry and hurt too! I want to know the rest of her story. Lord willing, one day I will.

But her story was a tipping point for me. It made me think of all the women throughout history who have been treated as property and as less than because they were women. And I accused God. “Do you even care about women? Do you even care about me, or am I just here to bear children and give myself for the pleasure of a man?” 

I had some deep roots to deal with.

I know God, and I love Him deeply. I have nothing if I don’t have Him. He is my Father. But I needed to know how He saw me. I needed to know if He cared about my dreams. I needed to know I mattered beyond my role as a man’s helper.

Through the praying and wrestling and crying out, He answered me. But I had to get to a desperate place first.

In Matthew 5:3, Jesus says the poor in spirit are blessed. A more literal reading would be, “blessed are those who are desperate as a beggar.” 

When we become desperate as a beggar, we are in a place to be wide open and vulnerable to really see the Lord and let Him heal us. 

What are you stuck on today? What is the thing that is causing you to not completely trust the Lord? Are you ready to lay it all out before Him? Are you desperate as a beggar?

If you are, then you exactly where you need to be. He hears you, He sees you, and He wants to heal you. Your destiny is not to be in pain, but to walk in confidence as a delighted daughter of God.

You are not alone in your pain. Keep on, sister.

by Sarah Mae, author of Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure — Right Where She Is

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sarah,
    The pain I’m dealing with is physical pain. I am desperate as a beggar. With one surgery already and several procedures to try to heal or reduce the pain, over a year later I still have severe nerve pain in my foot. It’s not something I can easily get my mind off of because every time I take a step, I’m reminded. I am sitting as the crossroads right now, asking myself, do I really trust God with this? What if He doesn’t heal me? Is His grace going to be sufficient? I’m looking at possibly another surgery, but I’m scared, hurt, sad, frustrated, angry…you name it…I”ve felt it. I’m praying and could use prayers for a modern day miracle. I know God is able…
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Sadiezoe23

      Praying for you Bev!!

    • M Bunn

      Bev, I am right there with you. I have been living in physical pain for the last 20 years. Thanks to a new doctor and supplement I have been getting better this last year but I have been plunged into the pain again the last few months. I Know the answer, I just see no way of getting to the answer unless God makes the way. I will be praying for you!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Bev, I will pray. I am so sorry you are going through this. It’s awful. Praying right now. And yes, you can trust God with this, I know that. {Hugs}

    • Rosie Bachand

      i’m almost surprised by your post. i look to you on a regular basis to shore up my faith. You are always where i want to be with my journey. You know the prayer we need to pray to God. it’s not the “Why” prayer. It’s the prayer that thanks God for the blessings that we do have. As a “fellow” sharer of chronic pain for many years, i can really understand. But the joy and strength you have given me is what I pray for you to receive. Yes, I do know about the loss of activity, the frustration of having it the first thing i think about every morning, the isolation, the change in relationships, the dealing with the drugs and doctors and no answers. Remember, i always look to you to remind me that my strength comes from God. We have to be strong together. i hope you know how much your posts mean to me so keep it up.

      • Veronica

        Hi Rosie, Bev is being honest about her struggles. Let us always encourage one another to share the real and the struggles. God doesn’t ask for perfection, only to be real with Him and one another. God bless.

    • Rosie Bachand

      coincidentally, the next post i read after yours was Psalm 46 “be still and know that I am God” as verse of the day. it’s probably my favorite breath prayer. Take that breath in and let it out. Be Still and Know that I am God. In and out. Thank you for the support and wisdom you have given me by your posts. Take God’s strength now

    • Veronica

      Hi Bev, I am praying for God’s healing of your foot. It must be extremely frustrating and difficult to be in physical pain. Sending you prayers and love. Xox

      Heavenly Father, Praying for a miracle for Bev. She is struggling with so many emotions that accompany her physical pain. Please Lord, provide healing for Bev and be with her each day, lessen her pain and draw her ever so close to your loving arms. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

    • Penny

      Bev,

      I pray that this time all will be well……

      Blessings,

      Penny

    • Beth Williams

      Bev,
      May God bring His healing touch to your body! If God brings you to it He will bring you through it! I’m believing and praying for complete healing and restoration of your mind, body and soul!
      Blessings to you! :)

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Thanks Beth!! ((hugs))

  • http://www.marybonner.net/ Mary Bonner

    Sarah Mae, from the first time I read your blog “Like a Warm Cup of Coffee” and heard you speak at Relevant, now Allume, I was drawn in. You are wise beyond your years and I appreciate the road you have walked to get to where you are. Thank you for sharing, writing, guiding and leading. I look forward to reading your newest book! I’ve per-ordered it on Amazon!!

    Thank you for these words today. I do believe our destiny is not to be in pain, yet sometimes the road to our destiny is quite painful. So thankful that we can have confidence as a “daughter of God.”

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      You nailed it. The road to destiny is quite painful – yes it is. Love you Mary.

  • Sadiezoe23

    I needed this today. Thank you!!!

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Sarah, what a beautiful post. I guess we all have our pain, don’t we? My children have driven me to that place where I am desperate as a beggar. As I learn to deal with their anger, the way they convey their hurt, it leaves me empty and often hurting. But God . . . I’m so thankful He meets each of us in our places of hurt and reveals Himself to us. I’m so thankful that He speaks to me through His word, giving hope and reassurance that He sees and knows all my boys—and I—struggle with.

  • Deena Marie

    Preordered the book….feeling like a “major bag lady” today.

  • http://www.farfromflawlesslife.blogspot.com Missy Robinson

    Thank you for sharing this. I used to think that faith could only exist in the absence of doubt. Now I know that truly it is doubt that allows faith to bloom. For if we fully understood, faith would not be required. I need to ask the Lord for faith often. I choose to trust the Lord, even when I don’t understand. I choose HIM over my own logic. For me, that is where true faith exists.

  • Cindy

    I am in emotional pain and I am PISSED!! Having my husband leave after years of my support through addiction sent me reeling and I appear at times to have it all together, but after 3 years, today my pain is like a person following me around. I feel like I keep losing, first my husband and more so now the relationships I built with his family. The other woman is now in the picture and I feel so cast aside, adding to my loss. And I am pissed and hurt. I want to get beyond it, but I can’t seem to do that. Jesus take this from me.

    • Veronica

      Hi Cindy, I am sorry for your losses. Praying for Jesus to draw you close today. Xox

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Cindy, I hate this for you. I am so sorry, and let me just say, I will be pissed with you right now. Hang in there, I’m praying for you, and I know you have people that love you and will surround you. Let them in. HANG ON TO JESUS. Praying, praying, praying.

    • Penny

      Cindy,

      Praying for you…..

      Regards,

      Penny

    • Beth Williams

      Cindy,
      Prayers for healing! I am deeply saddened by your losses! May you feel God swoop down and give you a huge hug! May you sense Him always there with you! I pray also for friends to come around, love on you and show you Jesus! Hang in there friend!
      (((((hugs)))))
      Blessings :)

    • Judy morgan

      Cindy, I am so sorry for your pain. I can only imagine. I pray our Father will use this to draw you ever closer to Him. And that He would use this for your good and for His glory, as only He can do. God’s desire for us is to have such an intimate relationship with Him. Sometimes He allows things to happen to open our eyes that draw us to Him in a way we never knew. Allow Him to love you thru this. God is your Father…your Daddy in heaven… And you are His beloved daughter and He takes great delight in you. Praying for you sweet Cindy. Your sister, Judy.

  • Veronica

    Hi Sarah Mae, This really spoke to me “When we become desperate as a beggar, we are in a place to be wide open and vulnerable to really see the Lord and let Him heal us.” How true. It made me think about how there are times I would rather not be a beggar. But God is showing me that it can be a blessing because He can use it to get me to a place where I can drop my heavy burden and let Him carry it. This is freedom in Christ. This is the good life He is calling me to. I read your story, and it was precious to me in so many ways. I look forward to reading your book. Blessings.

  • Rosie Bachand

    oh, wow! it was not my intention to criticize Bev, but to let her know how wonderfully supportive she has been to me in the past and that it was comforting that others had the same concerns, not that they are perfect. i apologize to all if i had given that impression. Bev has always been there for me and i was grateful that i might offer her some support on one of her “down days” as she has been to me in the past. she has been a gift, she will always be a gift on any day, i had hoped to bring that gift to her.

    • Veronica

      Hi Rosie, I didn’t think you were being critical, sorry if I gave you that impression. Bev’s words have also strengthened and encouraged me, so I wanted to encourage her to keep sharing the hard moments with all of us so we can cheer her on. Xox

      • Rosie Bachand

        Thanks for the reply. I think it had to do with the stress I was in. It’s been a “poor me” kind of time lately so I fell into the opportunity to follow that sin into the hole. When i’m in that place the things that usually work, don’t. so thank you for your response. I’ll be better after next week and i can take a less stressful breath and have the energy to tell that sin that i’m not going to play anymore. thank you and thanks for the XXOO’s, that was the best part.

  • Penny

    Thank-you for your post Sarah Mae, I really enjoyed it.

    Blessings to all,

    Penny

  • Kathryn

    I struggle with the same question (among others) as your daughter, and with intense fear of how I seem to blame The Lord–fear I’ll turn from Him. I never want to turn from Him! I want to choose and follow Him but feel afraid that I am not/that I will fail to because of my self-justifying, self-trusting heart and mind–can I ask Him to please make me new and hang on to me and turn me toward Him every day and never let my foolishness swallow me up? To always let the truth be stronger in me than anything that would desire to suppress it?

  • Beth Williams

    Bev,
    Provocative and thought producing post! Everyone has trials & pains at one point in their lives. God never promised us “rose gardens”.
    My issue right now is work & family related. Moved dad into assisted living last year, had multiple health issues & that all affected my work performance. Now I fear I may be fired. Adding to that hubby about lost his job last year, was given another one with same company but crappy shift. Now has decent job (same company) with better hours & may lose this one if his company and another merge (both large medical companies in the area). Somewhat down & depressed. I feel a little scared, & frustrated with life. Want quick solution & God keeps saying I will get you through this!

  • Linda Calmes

    Your daughter’s question is one that everyone must have asked…but I do have the only answer from God that He gave me: Remember that Jesus Christ was slain from the beginning of time…this was no mistake at all! It was conceived by our gracious God from forever back to forever future. Why? Sin and darkness have been given their time (so that no could accuse God of not allowing it) and so that every attribute of the Godhead could be glorified and shine as diamonds on the black velvet background of sin! EVERYONE is included in this including the Godhead who suffered the most in the death of HIS Son who became flesh and drowned in our sins! He knows the greatest pains that we suffer. We continue in this sin and death, showing each of us how inadequate we are, but how gracious God is to help us in our infirmities…to use our pain, fear, anger, and so forth as steps to know God better, mining the trial as for the gold of God’s love towards us. Someday the pain will be gone forever for the just through Christ. Christ’s death had to be on a cross of wood because it punished all sin: The crown of thorns and the wood of the cross represents the curse of nature as well as the sinful thoughts of man, the nails in the hands for our works of evil, the nails in the feet for our sinful walk, and the spear in His side for man’s evil heart, emotions, and callousness. His whole body was beaten for us for sin, yet without sin. Christ took it all but still came out of it pure and holy. We indeed have a wonderful Savior! When you hurt, try to stop blaming; God’s trials are all custom made. He knows what would hurt each of us to get our attention, and keep having faith, look to Him knowing that “this too will pass” and guard your heart, your responses, your self pity (I know, reading this made me cry over my abusive marriage of 28 years!) and learn the lessons of endurance. There will come an end to the pain, here in our lives, but the pain was good for us to find the fruit of the Spirit in our lives! Please read the book by Jeremiah Burroughs “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment ” by Puritan Paperbacks, and “The Bruised Reed” by Richard Sibbes, by Puritan Paperbacks, sold on Amazon. God wants us HOLY more than “happy” and in “JOY” which is submission to the Father and so different that “happiness” because we are here to suffer to glorify our God. Blessings to all, my heartfelt love in Christ, and my prayers for all of our pain in it’s varied forms. Remember our martyrs in prayer as well. Linda C

    • Rosie Bachand

      This is the most comprehensive, complete and understandable discussion of Christ that i have ever heard. Thank you for helping me understand that very difficult concept.