“When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God …” (Psalm 73:16,17)
There are cold, hard “realities” in each of our lives that can be too painful for us to bear. Such can cause us to gravitate toward false refuges where we trick ourselves into believing “all is well.” Some seek the temporary relief of a “happy hour.” But when the “hour” is over, the pain returns.
Self-delusion can keep us from an anger or sorrow that would swallow us up should we stare full on at our bitter reality. The enemy of our soul has no problem bayonetting us while we embrace the agony of an embittered state; neither does he mind us living in the “safe” cocoon of our fantasy.
The one thing the destroyer does not want us to do is face life with God by our side. He dreads the thought that we would say of the Lord that He is our Refuge, our God in whom we trust. He knows how much health would be restored to us if God was our counselor, comforter, and helper. So he would either have us cowardly hunker down in our fantasy world; or foolishly “hug our pain” with no anesthesia.
It requires courage to step out of the old familiar “bunker.” But God wants to do a new thing in our life. He wants the reality of His presence to be greater than any other reality. He wants to take us by the hand and lead us forward into fresh paths of righteousness.
With the Lord by our side, we can step out into “no man’s land.” In the valley of the shadow of death, He perfects us in His love. In the sanctuary of His presence, nothing will be “too painful.”