If Life Doesn’t Make Sense, Read This

by Taylor Joy Murray July 1, 2024
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Isaiah 53:3a (NIV)

When I was a little girl, I used to have two journals.

Every morning, I’d open my prayer journal and neatly pen my gratitude to God for His goodness and grace.

Then I’d open my personal journal, where my real thoughts, emotions and questions would messily spill out. I kept this journal under lock and key, promising myself these were words God would never see.

One journal held my praise. The other held my pain. I didn’t know how to talk to God about both. That kind of honesty with God would require a gut-level confidence that He loved and accepted me even when I was sad, confused and angry. But pain had a way of creating difficult emotions inside of me that I wasn’t sure God liked.

I imagine you come to these words today with your own story of pain. Maybe you’ve endured an experience that has carved a line through your story and your soul.

A miscarriage.
Financial struggles.
Unfulfilled longings.
A wayward child.
An ailing body.
Grief that feels cruel.
Lingering depression.
Scars of abuse.

Circumstances like these stand in stark contrast to the idea that life is always happy if we have faith. Growing up, I absorbed a narrative that we demonstrate holiness by demonstrating happiness. But when being “fine” became how I lived out my faith, it left me emotionally fragmented and disconnected, adrift in an internal sea of grief, thoughts and questions toward God. Questions like, Where are You, God? If You love me, why is this happening?

However, Isaiah 53:3a describes Jesus as deeply understanding every excruciating part of the human experience — because He lived on earth as fully human and fully God, “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Jesus knows the agony of betrayal and the sting of denial. He knows the ache of grief, rejection and loneliness. He understands what it feels like for suffering not to be removed, no matter how much you plead or urgently pray (Matthew 26:39).

When life doesn’t make sense, Jesus demonstrates that pain and belief can coexist. We don’t have to choose between feeling our emotions and having a relationship with God.

Rather than hiding pain behind praise, our mourning can be a sacred act of worship. Every one of our honest tears is a tiny offering of trust that God loves and sees us. Here. Now. In our darkest days and most dysregulated moments. Our most faithful response to suffering is to follow Jesus' example, allowing ourselves to express our honest sadness.

Today, I wonder what it might be like to come to the journals of our hearts honestly, bringing our full selves to these pages. We have a God who doesn’t want only our best but wants all of us.

Dear God, right now, life doesn’t make sense. How might You be inviting me to receive Your love and care in my pain? Please show me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Taylor Joy Murray’s book, Stop Saying I’m Fine: Finding Stillness When Anxiety Screamsblends therapeutic insight with spiritual truth to help you dig beneath the surface of your anxiety. If you want to better understand why and where your anxiety comes from, and if you long to learn a different, more compassionate approach to engaging with your anxiety, this book is for you.



Connect with Taylor on Instagram. To learn more about Taylor; her books; her podcast, Faith & Feelings; and other resources, check out her website.

When life doesn’t make sense, holding our faith and unresolved pain together requires a certain kind of wisdom. In her most recent podcast series, “When Life Doesn’t Make Sense,” Taylor hosted conversations with eight wise, deeply authentic and kind women about their stories of pain and sorrow, and they shared what they’re learning about hope, lament, joy and courage when life gets really hard. Listen to the full series today on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


Ecclesiastes 7:4, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning …” (NIV).

When life hasn’t made sense, what hard and painful questions have you asked God over the years, or what are you asking Him right now?

Have you grieved this pain? If so, what has this been like? If not, what has kept you from entering into your own “house of mourning” (Ecclesiastes 7:4, NIV)?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Taylor Joy Murray. All rights reserved.

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