Ouch! For many years my #1 desire when I felt pain and suffering was to get relief asap. I didn’t like it. Didn’t want it. I was afraid of how it felt. I ran from it as fast as I could. That is a human response. The Bible taught me that God is love. I assumed the only reason I felt this pain was due to sin and I didn’t like or want the hurt. In my youth I assumed Jesus did not want me to hurt. I lacked the spiritual maturity to see that pain and suffering is a gift. Once while praying with an older woman in San Diego she shared with me: Embrace pain and suffering for it will bring about God’s purpose in your life. My purpose in going to pray with this woman was for pain relief. She was supposed to be my tylenol. And now she was advising me to embrace the pain? That prayer meeting was a catalyst that directed me on a path that was transforming.
Do you suffer well? When you are in pain do you ask the question why? I believe we can and should ask the Lord anything on our heart. But I don’t believe that is the question to ask because we won’t get an answer to why. We need to ask the question, What? What are you trying to shape in me? This is the surgery that brings about spiritual transformation. If I focus on anything other than the “What” I am not being a good steward of the pain.
What are some ways you have responded to pain in the past?