How long before the heartache stops?

A few weeks back, after I finished my message before a lovely audience, I put the mic down on the podium and stepped off. As I made my way to the book table, a sweet woman hugged me tight. “Thirty years,” she whispered in my ear, “it’s been that long that I drew away from God. After my son was killed, I wanted nothing to do with God or the Bible. I was away for 30 years. I decided to come back.”

For most, 30 years seems way too long to carry sorrow. But heartache has no expiration date. Sometimes, it weighs heavy for a lifetime. Unless we take a bold step and do what this champion in discus throwing did. (An excerpt from “The Sacred Romance.”)

“…I read the story of a Scottish discus thrower from the nineteenth century. He lived in the days before professional trainers and developed his skills alone, in the highlands of his native village. He even made his own iron discus from the description he read in a book. What he did not know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood with an outer rim of iron. His was solid metal and weighed three or four times as much as those being used by his would-be challengers. This committed Scotsman marked out in his field the distance of the current record throw and trained day and night to be able to match it. For nearly a year, he labored under the self-imposed burden of the extra weight. But he became very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus the record distance, maybe farther. He was ready.

My Scotsman (I had begun to closely identify with him) traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the games, he was handed the official wooden discus—which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of his competitors that no one could touch him. He thus remained the uncontested champion for many years.”

Today, many hold in their heart a discus called heartache. And what do we do? Goodness gracious, we hold on to it. Days get dark and hard as our feet drag. Exhaustion tells us the weight is too heavy. Perhaps it’s because deep, really deep inside, we don’t know how to let go or perhaps doubt God’s power to help us let go. We wonder if He lift our sorrow. And in our limited, human mind we can’t fathom how, in the gloom of pain, joy could ever come back.

To make it more complicated, some folks grip their heartache tight because they find a strange sense of comfort by reliving the details of the loss.

Good News for You

The reason doesn’t matter. Instead, what makes the difference and brings one to the champion stage is obedience. Obedience to God’s instruction: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

God will never, never let us fall. That promise is fulfilled when we let it go. And when we do, He will strengthen us. He will hold us up through the journey. And He will equip us enough for us to make it to the finished line of victory.

That triumphant moment arrives when we transform our thinking, our and our prayers. We replace, Lord, the pain is too much. I don’t know how long I can endure it to I trust You, Lord, when I release this deep pain, you will give me the freedom I need.

The next step is to wait. Wait to see How he begins the mending. Wait to see how He comforts. Wait and see how He opens the door to a new chapter and a new heartache-free future.

He did that very thing for me. When my youngest son was murdered, doubt had to end, faith had to increase, and trust had to take over.

That’s the reason, with thankfulness overflowing in me, I can write this from my chair of victory, typing on the keyboard of faith and gratitude.

Thank you, Lord! Thank you for receiving our cares. For turning that pain to a divine purpose. For transforming each burden to a blessing and grief to peace.

Let’s pray.

I vow to let it go, and in faith, I step into the freedom that comes through the reassurance of Your promise to sustain me. In Jesus’ name.

What is the burden you need to let go today?

Bonus article on today’s topic.



Celebrate with me! My new release, Now I See: How God’s Amazing Grace Transforms the Deepest Pain to Shining Joy won the 2023 Memoir of the Year Golden Scroll Award.

Your copy waits for you HERE.

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