When Things are too Painful for Words

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time should be familiar with my blogging process. When an ah-ha moment hits, no matter the subject, I write about it. This is one of those moments.

As I was lying down waiting for Jereme to get home from a night out with friends, I started reading my Bible. To be completely honest, I am taking a short break from Facebook for lots of reasons, and out of not having much else to look at I decided to do some extra Bible reading. Makes me sound like a terrible Christian, but I am someone who feels the need to tell on myself, so just thought I’d throw that tidbit in.

As I was reading, I came across Romans 8:26.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26 ESV

I was just going to breeze right by this verse, but I couldn’t stop rereading the phrase, “too deep for words”.

We’ve all been there, those types of situations that just seem too heartbreaking to speak about. We have all suffered unspeakable losses at some point in our lives. While I was reading, several situations in my own life came to mind. I have made most of my life public, but there are a few things that are just too painful to even write about. So I started doing a little digging into this verse just to unravel it a bit. And wow, have I have underestimated the value of this verse!

This may be a different kind of blog post, but bear with me, I’m getting somewhere with this I promise!

When I start researching, I love to use an interlinear app, mix in some Google searches and commentaries, then write out the verse in my own words using the information I have uncovered. So I’ll just take you on my little journey into Romans 8:26!

This is exactly how this verse reads in it’s original context: (because I am typing this on my phone, I am just going to use the English words here, but I’ll highlight the important Greek ones).

Likewise now also the Spirit joins to help the weakness of us the for things which we should pray for as it behooves not we know but Himself the Spirit makes intercession with groanings inexpressible.

Yeah, you confused yet? I was too. So let’s break it down.

The Greek word for weakness is astheneia. Which can translate as illness of body or mind.

The Greek word for the phrase “joins to help” is synantilambanetai. Which literally means the action of one who assists another to bear a burden by taking hold on the opposite side to share the load.

The Greek word for intercession is hyperentynchanei which translates to, appeal to someone.

Now here’s where it gets interesting!

The Greek word for groanings is stenagmois. This is the noun version of the verb, stenazo. (Meaning, they both come from the same root word). Stenazo is groaning together with someone due to physical suffering, loss, or distress.

And lastly, the Greek word for inexpressible is alalētois, which means just that, something not expressive with words.

Now that I have bored you with the original Greek, let’s put it all together!

(Jen’s translation!)

The Spirit bears our burdens with us, by taking hold of the opposite side and sharing the load. When we do not know how to pray, and all we can do is sigh within ourselves due to physical suffering or a loss, the Holy Spirit appeals to the Father for us by sighing and groaning together with us.

Wow! You may want to go back and read that again!

Personally, I know there are times when I have just been too sad, too heartbroken, or just out of words to say and all I can do is sigh in my heart to God. And in all my years, whenever I experienced this, I just felt weak and honestly like an inexperienced Christian.

But, the Bible tells us plainly this is normal! These types of situations are exactly why God sent us His Holy Spirit! There is no need for us to utter words out loud, and it is okay to just be strong enough to sigh within ourselves. This is when the Holy Spirit comes along beside us and carries our burden with us!

How amazing is that?

If you have stuck with me this long, thank you! I sincerely hope you feel the same amount of relief I felt when I read this.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. We have help in carrying our burden, and we don’t even have to speak a word.

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