Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Pain

A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit

Which pain is worse, emotional or physical? Like you, I’ve faced both kinds: crushing physical pain with no position in which I can get comfortable; crushing heartache in which my head spins with grief and I can’t stop the tears. As Proverbs says, “Heartache crushes the spirit.”

You can almost distract yourself from physical pain. Even in a wheelchair, I’ve devised clever ways to forget about my paralysis. But inside suffering – that’s another matter. You can’t put mental anguish or heartache behind you. Those hurts create an emptiness that refuses to be pushed or crowded out of your thoughts. It bites. Gnaws. Grinds away at your spirit.

I’m convinced emotional pain is much worse than physical pain. But I’m also convinced it does something to our heart that physical pain often can’t. Inner anguish melts the heart, making our souls pliable and bendable. Because we can’t drive it from our thoughts, it forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when your heart is aching.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
PSALM 34:18 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky


Counsel, Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Each heart knows its own bitterness,
And no one else can share its joy.

If only we took to heart the message in Proverbs 14:10, especially when we try to bring comfort to another troubled heart! King Solomon wrote that each person’s experience of both sorrow and happiness is unique. It is like no other. It is different from everyone else’s experience of sorrow and happiness.

That means it does not help to tell someone in pain, “Oh, I know just how you’re feeling.” No, you don’t! You may have experienced something like their pain, but you do not know just how they feel, for “each heart knows its own bitterness” – not the pain that wracks the heart of another. That’s good counsel to keep in mind when we prepare ourselves to speak to those in some deep distress.

It is also good counsel to …

Be happy with those who are happy,
and weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with each other.
Don’t be too proud to
enjoy the company of ordinary people.
And don’t think you know it all!
ROMANS 12:15-16 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky