I awoke to a horror of a recent event running through my mind, my heart was racing and I was frightened. My mind whirled in response, “Why does this keep happening… I am thinking this again… God this image frightens me… why did this bad thing happen?” I heard a voice say, “Cheryl, come here”. I looked to my right I could see a hand open a door. The voice continued, “Store it in here, I will take it away from you”. The door opened to an empty dark room. Something didn’t seem right, the voice sounded nice, but something didn’t feel right. In confusion I said, “Is this you God?” The voice responded “Yes it is, look I have a place for your pain, store it here”. I was tired, but even in my tiredness, something still didn’t seem right. I responded “I don’t think you’re God”. In that moment the image went and was replaced with the words, “Cast your burdens on the Lord”. Upon hearing these words I was filled with peace and I promptly fell asleep.
As good as it sounded to store my pain away and to close the door. I knew it wasn’t truth. Yes it would bring an instant relief, but what about tomorrow?
I once had a storage room full of pain, I know God showed me. To get there I had to go down a deep dark shaft. At the bottom of the shaft were two rooms. In the left room was a bowl full of black horrible pain. Things no-one wanted to look at. It bubbled with tears, screaming horror; events I didn’t want to remember. It was a bowl of torment. The room to my right was the dwelling of a dragon; his purpose was to guard what he believed was his, my pain. At night the memories stored in this bowl would fill my dreams, sometimes they would spill over to my days. These memories could be real events that happened to me, something I saw on the news, or perhaps something I read in a book or watched on TV. Not knowing what to do with them I pushed them aside, storing them away and imaged something different and pleasant. There is a problem with storing pain. Doors only hide what is there; the more you store away the less room you have for others, God and yourself. Your soul becomes cluttered with shame, pain, hopelessness, lies, fear, torment, sorrow etc and life becomes unmanageable. Storage of pain also provides the enemy with fuel to bring torment into your life.
There was a time when I didn’t think I could give God my sorrow. I didn’t believe that He would hear my cry, or understand my pain. Nor did I believe that He would answer my prayers. I didn’t think that I could trust Him. I was defeated, and didn’t know the depth of God’s love for me. I didn’t know how His love could enable me to overcome. There are many of us who fall into the trap of storing the pain away. For me it started when I was very little and didn’t have the skills to deal with the pain. As I grew older I kept the same pattern going until it revealed itself through symptoms like depression, anxiety, anger and other forms of deep emotional pain.
God, unlike the enemy, doesn’t store our pain so He can haunt us with it another day. No, He conquered our pain on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross He took upon himself every ounce of pain, sorrow and sinful matter this world has to offer. All the sin died with Christ, He took it to the grave and defeated it. When He arose He left an empty tomb, there was no memory of the sin; it was all gone. Death and sin were defeated, replacing them with life and freedom from torment! God doesn’t open some door to a dark room saying store it here. God says “Cast it on me. In me you will find victory and freedom. Let me bring life out of your sorrow and pain. Let me be your justice, hope and future”. He says, “Come to me, I will give you rest, for I know how weary you are, I know your burdens. You don’t need to carry them anymore, let me deal with them so that they are no more.”