Promise from Pain
Confession: I had a 'pity me party' one evening last week; I even shed a few tears for my sorrow.
Now before you sympathize, this is a party I attend too frequently and allow myself to get sucked into my woes. And I should also confess that it is an issue I've supposedly given to God years ago (but allow it to rear its ugly head every so often).
The next day, I found out that friends of mine had lost their son during my 'party'. The self-inflicted sorrow I had the night before cannot compare to the grief that they are feeling, and will continue to feel for the upcoming days, weeks and months.
It was a humbling reminder that I am a very blessed person. God's grace to me is undeniably undeserved and too often taken for granted. Can you relate?
I've witnessed my friends breakdown, cry out in pain, and question the purpose of this tragedy...but they've never questioned God. They are so grounded in their faith that it doesn't occur to them to doubt His ways, His Purpose or His plan. They are hurting, beyond what I can imagine, and unfortunately what many people can relate to, yet they aren't blaming God, or wallowing in self-pity. They're not hiding their pain, but they're also not hiding Whom they know Jesus to be in this either. They’re testifying of His greatness while they live through their greatest weakness.
I admire their courage and strength during this difficult time. I am awed to see and hear some of the stories that have come from this sad situation, and know, as they've witnessed, it is all and only God... God working through this pain to bring something good for them. God using their grief to show others His love. God reassuring them that He is at work. (Romans 8:26-28, Jeremiah 29:11)
How I hate to see them in such pain; but I am humbled that through their pain, I have seen God work.
There is so much in this world that we can get caught up in and feel anguish over. Satan has a great power to hurt us; but our God has an even greater power to heal us! When Satan invites us to our 'pity party', instead of attending, join God's compassion celebration. He hurts when we hurt; He feels our wounds deeper than we do; but He is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving.
When we find ourselves suffering (and we will; this is an imperfect world—for the time being) (John 16:33) allow God to lead you to healing. Allow God to take your pain from you. Allow God to draw you closer to Him through it all. (Psalm 18:2, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 41:10)
It may seem impossible to do, in the times of our deepest pain, rejoice in the Lord. (Romans 5:3-4) See the suffering as a time of deep spiritual growth; and find peace in that. God will use your sorrow to draw you closer to Him. He will comfort you and love you like you've never felt before. (Psalm 55:22; Romans 8:35-38, 1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Peter 5:10) That’s His Promise. (John 16:22)
*Please keep my friends in your prayers, as they will need continued strength and encouragement to face the days ahead.