Helen Steiner Rice's poem "The Way to God" is about the importance of pain on the path to finding happiness and God. The entire poem highlights the necessity of trials, grief and pain in the search for and worship of God. The speaker of the poem states that if her life consists only of pleasure and never pain, she has no need to seek out God.
"The Way to God" uses a series of questions in order to convey the message that pain and difficulty is essential in finding the love of God. The poem begins with five questions, each broken up into its own stanza. The speaker of the poem then uses the final three stanzas of the poem to answer the questions posed in the first part of the poem. Each of the questions begins with the word "if," turning the entire poem into a hypothetical if-then statement. If there is no pain in life, then it is impossible to feel the love of God.
The poem also uses the extended metaphor of a journey while conveying its message. The speaker of the poem discusses the search for a fair land, peace at the end of the road, and walking with sorrow. By using the idea of a journey, the poem emphasizes the idea that the search for God requires work and is not without hardship.