Day 22: When Life Hurts, Try The A.S.S. Principle

whiteflag-ea757826“Life Is Pain, anyone who says otherwise, is selling something” (The Princess Bride Movie).

Some who are reading this today, woke up in pain.  Maybe not physical pain, but emotional agony for certain.  Circumstances don’t seem to make sense, life is not fair, and those in your life that should have been watching your back insert a knife into it instead.  I met with a family this morning who had just lost their two month old baby girl.  Everyone is devastated. Life truly is painful.  Is there any hope?

A good friend of mine who has been on a 4 year journey of painful experiences, introduced me to the A.S.S. Principle the first day I met him.  It stand for ‘Absolute Soul Surrender’.    When his painful journey began, he gave up the certainty of every single thing in his life, except the ‘fact that Jesus is Lord.”  (Even that fact, was not well understood, but he believed it anyway.)  He had to come to a place where he had to express Absolute Soul Surrender to Jesus and let Him work out the details.  He had to give up ‘trying to control’ all the outcomes for himself, his family, or job.  Each time the anxiety of the pain emotionally began pounding him, he cried out to the A.S.S. principle.  Do you know that Bible verse that says something like, ‘even when we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit hears our groans of agony and interprets the groans and prays ‘for’ us”.  That kind of prayer was happening all the time in my friend’s life. (Still does today!)

Are you a control freak?  Do you try and make sure you and your loved ones avoid pain at all costs?  Maybe it is time to give up and try the A.S.S. journey, if you do, you will….find rest.  You will find that you are NOT alone. You will find that there is, in fact, …hope.

Wm. P. Young, in his book “The Shack”, had a great number of quotes dealing with pain and suffering, perhaps a quote or two may speak into your life today:

  • “…pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly…and if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place” (pg. 97)
  • [Mack] “I feel so lost”…[Jesus] “I know, Mack. But it’s not true. I am with you and I’m not lost…” (pg. 114)
  • …”But your choices are also not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome.”… (pg. 125)
  • … [God/wisdom]”Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos, and horrible things happen to those that he is especially fond of.” [Mack] “Then why doesn’t he (God) do something about it?” [God/wisdom] “He already has…” (pg. 164)
  • “I did not purpose Missy’s (Erin’s) death, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it for good.” (pg. 222)
  • “Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing water and a steam of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak” (pg. 228)
  • “Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”

Yes, there is pain in life, but God ‘does work ALL THINGS’ together for good.  Will you consider ‘Absolute Soul Surrender’ today?

Mike Zenker


  1. Is being in control a high priority for you?  How is it workin’ out for you?
  2. Do you believe that if you are in pain, God is mad at you or punishing you?
  3. Do you believe God can handle your prayer of absolute venting?  (Try King David, he was good at it)
  4. What is holding you back from trying the ‘Absolute Soul Surrender’ principle.
  5. FYI: you cannot do the A.S.S. principle on your own, it has to be Jesus inspiring and empowering you to do it.


  • Romans 8:28 (NASB)  28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
  • PSALM 39 – 4  “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.  5My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.”  6We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. 7    And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in you.


Chris Tomlin – Lord I Need You


Heavenly Father, remind me that you are in charge of my maturing process.  Help me not to get my expectations too high.  Allow me to be patient with others who are at different stages of growth and teach me how to simply love them, unconditionally.

One thought on “Day 22: When Life Hurts, Try The A.S.S. Principle

  1. Thanks very much Mike
    Oh, how I resonate with all your write. This cannot be understood until the experience of Life opens the door of our thinking so that we may soar in His reality.

    Liked by 1 person

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