Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Not To Waste Your Pain

Everyone experiences pain in various forms. Pain can be one of the most valuable and powerful tools for good in our lives if we respond to it rightly.

Do a quick survey in your life right now. What areas of your life have you been experiencing pain in the several months? Relationships? Circumstances that haven't gone well? Irritations? Difficulties at work? At home?

You have probably not found it a pleasant or an easy survey. Even facing our pain can be difficult. Many of us only face it when it is consuming us but there is little we can productively do about it then. We must be willing to engage our pain, gaze into it's depths and do the nasty work of wresting with it until we know how to rightly respond to it.

Step 1. Face it. Don't run from it. Don't ignore it.

But that is not the end. Too many of us when facing our pain move from their to a few other faulty responses.
We let it drown us, turn us negative, whine and complain.
We find someone or something to blame. We search for a scape goat.
We turn to self-help, self-esteem, self-improvement techniques to relieve the pain.

What is fundamentally missing from these attempts to deal with our pain? Their main goal is relief.
As strange as it may sound, relief is not the main need you have when you are in pain.
Pain is meant to point you and I somewhere...or rather to Someone.

But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. --C.S. Lewis

You may never know that JESUS is all you need, until JESUS is all you have. --Corrie Ten Boom  

We have become committed to relieving the pain behind our problems rather than using our pain to wrestle more passionately with the character and purposes of God. Feeling better has become more important than finding God. - Larry Crabb

The goal of pain and pleasure is to point us to the One who alone can fill and fulfill us. If we aim to let God use our pain to lead us closer to Himself and we will discover a whole new realm of life and joy even (or especially) in the midst of your trials. This is why "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37) Why? Because many times it is IN all these things (trials) we experience the presence and love of God the most.