I've never once in my life used this phrase until now. And I wonder if it's a bit closer to accurate than other peoples usage of it.
When people say something 'hurts like hell' it means it hurts a lot. They're feeling an extraordinary amount of pain and compared to the fires of hades, they're thinking "ok... this is what that pain is."
I don't like the term, because I always think hell would be a lot worse than breaking a rib (which most people tell you hurts a great deal).
But after feeling so absent from God, so empty and dry, and so utterly desolate - I wonder if this is more like (though certainly not equal to) what hell would feel like.
Despite all the horrors that hell will have to offer, I wonder if it's going to be the absence of God that we feel more than the presence of anything else, no matter how horrible.
If this is even a taste of what hell feels like, I'd still want to do whatever it took to get to Heaven even if all the physical horrors of hell were still there. Give me the never ending flames and weeping and gnashing of teeth, the whole bit. But don't take away the only thing that makes anything worth while - God.
I want to be in His presence, I want to feel it again, I want to know Him again and know that He's still there.
Eddie, my dog, wants to be where I am. Even when I'm too busy to pay attention to him. He just wants to be as close as he can get. It's not about him trying to show the cat that he's the favored pet - it's just about him, wanting to be near the owner.
Being absent from that, in my life, when for the past 5 years before this one were so continuously growing... may just hurt like hell.