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.