I used to have this skewed view of God. Somehow, I got the idea that once you acknowledged God in your life things would go swimmingly. Nothing bad would ever happen.
A few nights ago, I was awakened with this portion of Scripture from Matthew 5:45: “… and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.”
As I pondered on this I realized “rain” could be a good thing–there are times the earth desperately needs rain–and there are others when torrential rain brings disaster. God’s treatment of his creation is just. We are not exempt from what life brings simply because we follow him.
My thoughts went deeper.
I thought of Adam and Eve and how, because of disobedience, Eve was told that childbirth would be painful. Having had four children, I know that pain quite well. I’ve often wondered if childbirth is painful for the baby. Yet, I know a lusty cry is a sign of a healthy babe. It seems we are birthed in pain. But oh, the joy of that new birth!
My thoughts turned to the crucifixion. Our salvation lies in pain: Horrible, horrendous pain. Yet, that too, is the pain of a new birth. Christ’s death and resurrection is the root of our spiritual birth. A joyful, amazingly grace-filled birth.
Then the pains of my own life came to mind. My illnesses, my car accident, my daughter’s death and that of her unborn child. Swiftly my thoughts went to my husband. Cancer. Parkinson’s. The loss of his ability to work. So much pain.
Yet that very same pain is driving us closer and closer to God. Our personal spiritual lives are being “birthed” if you will – in pain. And as we draw closer? The joy of knowing Him intimately.
Few people ask for pain. And yet, that pain can hold a promise. A promise that says “Lo, I am with You always, even to the ends of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
And that promise brings joy to my heart.
Prayer: Father God, Thank you that although this can be a life filled with pain and sorrow. It is also a life full of promise and joy. Amen and amen.
About the author:
deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic challenges is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her challenges have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic illness. Her website is http://www.todaysencouragingwordonline.com – deni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website.
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Are you able to see through the pain of this life to see the possibility of joy? If so, how has joy manifested itself in your life? Does your pain let you identify with the suffering of Christ’s death?