I’m not a big fan of generalizations and broad brush strokes. But the statement made in the blogpost quoted below really struck me this morning: “don’t waste your pain.”
The question we need to ask ourselves when God allows us to go through hard times is not why but who? In the mind of God, pain always has two intended recipients: us and someone else. If we choose not to take what we’ve experienced and find some way of using it to help other people, we miss a large part of why God allowed us to suffer in the first place.
We look at pain as a bad thing most times, and honestly that’s probably the best way to start out anyway. Pain comes from stuff we’ve done, from stuff other folks have done, from random crap that falls from the sky. Placing blame for pain isn’t always an option, and often isn’t the best option either. But taking pain and using it for something real, something positive, something helpful and healing – that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
In the post above, Brian Jones writes his own thoughts and pastoral insights on pain. You have yours, too, for better or for worse, for good or for ill. What I want to impress upon folks is that pain is real, it really sucks, but if we somehow “let it win”, then we lose. Taking ownership of the outcome, taking some responsibility for my own response and my own growth through the painful experiences of life – that’s a positive that only I can grab on to.
Don’t hear me say/write that, “all pain is good” – because that’s a lie. Rather, hear/read this: “pain sucks, but I choose to win over this mess today”. And then, do it.