All of us experience pain. If we were to look closely at our lives, there would be segments of it that were long and difficult. There were probably times you weren’t sure you could make it through.
What do we do with those times?
In the midst of them, I know what I do. I cry out to God and say, “Why?” I want to say, from the weakest possible theological footing, “I don’t deserve this.” I say to Him, “I serve you and this is how you treat me?” (If you do the same, read the Psalms, we are not alone!)
Give me a little time and my perspective changes.
When I look at who I am, as much as anything, shaped by the pain. The perspectives I have in my teaching come from pain. My grit comes from pain. The compassion I have as a pastor comes from pain. My confidence hope will win out comes from pain. The depth of my soul comes from pain.
It is not that the good times didn’t shape me, they do. Good times polish. Painful times cut deeply and really change us.
Consider our redemption. It is not in the beautiful nativity, or the feeding of the 5000, or turning water into wine we find our redemption, it is in the pain of the cross. Further, the triumph of resurrection can only be formed by the defeat of the tomb.
May the pain you live shape you into the image of the resurrection.
I’m doing some things I never wanted or exspected to be doing. In my minds eye I was sitting with the elders of the church making grandoise decisions concerning direction and course for the church. When I awakened I had just finished the morning dishes and was preparing to start the wash followed by moping the kitchen/bathroom floors, to be followed by the ironing. No, not what I had planed at all, but—-
Most of the lessons of life are not that enjoyable. My word to God and Charlene was that my commitment to them both was for life. It has been a rocky and twistey road, sometimes I have turned away from them both and followed my own path, much to my chagrin, but God has been faithful and has steered my ship to the point that I see the lights of heaven dead ahead. I have been blessed with a helpmate like unto no other. Thank You Father for the direction of my life.