You have heard it before: God never wastes our pain! Oh yes, if the same God asked the disciples to collect the left overs from the basketfuls after feeding the thousands, then He sure lets nothing go to waste.
“A little child must come to a point of teething if life is going to be worth the feeding, not only for the physical body, but also for the spiritual. A seed buried deep in the dark earth must break forth and shoot through the soil if it must become a tree and bear fruit. A Christian must surmount the barriers of doubt and fear, and spark with the shine of invincible faith if the heart pillar must continue to remain erect in the midst of a crooked world.”
Growth comes with pain, and pain brings growth. Great paradox… but only if viewed from a divine perspective.
This week has been hard on most of us! Three friends have died. Suddenly. I wake up hoping the news would change, but no…not yet. Hope keeps me waiting for the resurrection morn! He will come in great glory!
I think of the pain in my heart, but I go beyond myself to imagine the pain in the heart of that heartbroken spouse seated beside me at the church, holding a funeral program with the picture of his beloved now asleep. I behold a glimpse of our sleeping sister’s certificate of completed Bible studies, with her name signed upon it. I think of the day the Master will say to her, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
I think of that 93 year old elderly mother, looking over the corpse of her beloved daughter, who moved thousands of miles away so she could be close to her mother. The sleeping sister spent her hands, delivering thousand of babies into the world as a nurse and midwife. She spent her words, encouraging others along life’s pathways.
I think of my homeless friends, and the loss they feel over the one who is now no longer among them. I remember when she first received a Bible in her hand, how she hugged it tight with a wide smile from her fainting vision, her frail voice repeating, “I am gonna read it tonight.” I often hugged her very tight. She was small, and I could wrap her round my arms with ease! Her smile amidst her pain was contagious!
A time comes, when our memory is reduced to nothing but a piece of paper with a few words; our still picture embedded on it. No returning smiles. No voice. No movement. No plans for tomorrow. No eye contact. No breath.
A time comes when we are referred to as “the late.” We are not late for any appointment, but again, we can never make it for any appointments on this earth. So indeed, we are late. We are referred to as “was” and no longer “is,” for our memories are gone, and we have no part in the affairs of humanity.
A time comes when our remains fit into nothing but a small piece of wooden box, curved by the dying hands of man; our world- one of total silence, where we can no longer hear anything (for the dead know nothing, Ecclesiastes 9:5).
A time comes when those who look upon our bodies have no compliments to give, just complaints to question. Yes, they look upon our decaying body and weep, and wish, and mourn, and some even curse. But none of these acts could bring us back to life. That times comes, but we are never ready for it, or at least most are not.
DEATH IS A FOREIGNER! It was not meant to live among us, or dwell with us. Pain is real and it comes to all of us. In John 16:33 Jesus speaks to us and says, “…In the world, ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.
- Tribulation- in the world – it’s for a short time/ as short as the first tree…
- Cheer – through tribulation – it keeps growing with each encounter with Jesus!
- Overcome – through Jesus -it’s a total win when we finally see Him face to face!
What then shall we do with pain, when we know it will not go away, at least not now?
GROW THEM. YES, GROW THE PAINS.
Grow the pains that you don’t seem to like,
Let the branches show and let the thorns spike,
Find freedom in knowing what you dislike,
Acknowledge the woe that comes with strife.
Then shall you be prepare to take root,
Your should with branches of liberty will shoot,
The apathy of mediocrity to uproot,
The excellence of divine power must shine out.
Acknowledge the pain if wisdom you must retain,
Let pain do her perfect work with no disdain,
Let these experiences pass you not in vain,
Le their reality free you from the murmurer’s chain.
Grow the pains with a heart of surrender,
Give the Master your agony and let Him be your Defender,
Be still, and let Him fight your offender,
His power to heal will make your heart tender.
Grow the pains with a mind at peace,
Face them each day on bended knees,
Find joy in trusting the Father and be at ease,
Give all your cares to Him, and be thou totally His.
Pure growth requires a shedding forth of prejudices,
…a planting of true purposes,
…a weeding off of pretenses,
…and a cultivation of new perspectives.
Whatever pain you are going through right now, remember that through thorny ways, God marks you out a chosen way. Though thorny the paths may seem, thou wilt smell the roses of the fragrance of His providence; thou wilt sense the warmth of the sunshine of His presence; thou wilt see the colors of the beauty of His purposes; and thou wilt experience the touch of the power of His promises. Though dark the paths may be, thou wilt envision the light of His countenance; though plainness they may bear, thou wilt curve with the direction of His guidance. Though silence may shout, thou wilt hear the thundering voice of His assurance.
He plans the direction for the feet of His children along life’s pathways.