Devotional: When Loving God Hurts

I was reclining on the couch one evening reading when the call came, “Beth, I have a situation . . . ” Within minutes, a crisis launched me into action. It began that morning in another state with a rabid skunk and three curious dogs. My sister who had vaccinated my dogs along with her own, had recently moved out of state. One of her beloved dogs had killed the rabid skunk and Animal Control demanded vaccination records for all three dogs present at the kill–or they would all be euthanized. She had three days to find her records.

Because her move out of state had been complicated, she couldn’t find the records proving they’d received their rabies shot. Since she had vaccinated our dogs together, she called hoping I could find mine.

But I too had moved recently–twice.

I dug through drawers and ripped open long forgotten bags tucked in closets. I ran down to the garage, crawled through a maze of spider webs and located a huge box yet unpacked, containing receipts and other miscellaneous paperwork. Hands shaking, I activated my cell phone ear piece and talked to her as I hefted the box down and clawed through the tonnage of papers. I fought to keep my voice steady and my hands moving as she broke down on the other end of the phone.

I pictured my beloved tri-fecta of pugs and how I would feel in her place. My mind raced, desperate for a solution. Can’t any of her vet friends fudge some records for her until she finds her own? 

I almost said it. But then, “Are you really going to encourage her to lie?” The Lord’s voice penetrated my grief as I listened to her anguish through the earpiece. So I kept my thoughts to myself.

trust, love, respect in wood type

And I couldn’t find the records.

Loving God with all your heart is not always easy. Sometimes it hurts.

Sometimes loving God with all our heart means doing what we know is right and trusting Him with the outcome. I don’t know how this story ends, God isn’t finished yet. But I do know that God is in control and He sees the long view of our struggles, our grief. And I trust Him to do what’s right, what’s good, what’s best–for everyone, including my sister. Because God is love. And His love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8


What about you? What will loving God with all your heart look like for you today?

Lord, so often we don’t understand Your ways. Sometimes life hurts so much. But even in those places of pain You call us to love You with all our heart–with everything we are and have. In loving and trusting You we find peace and rest and it is there You anchor us in Your heart. So today, Lord, we will love You by honoring You with our obedience. Help us to realize that You alone see the beginning, the end, and all this struggle in between. Help us to trust Your sovereignty, Your goodness.  Amen.

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Comments 2

  1. Not knowing the end of the story, and making the commitment to trust, can soooo be the hardest part. For me, that’s where loving Him because of how good His ways are and how much He loves me is the key.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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