I tell my children that God has a path for them – and He does! He WILL use them to help others and shine the Light of Truth to a dark and perverted world. BUT, they can choose to make it a painful experience for themselves through disobedience.
Sometimes we make the path more painful as we make choices out of greed, fear, lust, pride, or insecurity. But as time progresses, we can see how He has already worked in what appeared to be my inadequacy into this foregone conclusion of His amazing plan.
I realized something somewhere along the way. If you belong to God, He WILL use you to accomplish His plan for your life. The choice you DO have is whether or not you enjoy it.
Seriously, have you ever told a child to take a bath, do his homework, pick up her clothes, take out the trash – whatever. And the child refuses? A good parent’s answer is that you WILL do what I’ve asked of you. You can do it WITH the consequences of disobedience or WITHOUT.
And that’s pretty much what our Father says to us.
“This is what is best for you. Do you want that with or without the pain and suffering that comes from stepping off the path I made for you through this dark and evil world?”
When Life Just Hurts You
This is not to say that pain only comes from disobedience. On the contrary. Much pain comes as a blessing (granted it is often one in heavy disguise). But the blessing comes in knowing Him more, gaining strength.
If you have never walked with God in love and in faith, then you have no idea what I’m talking about.
But obey Him once, know His will once, follow Him regardless of the consequences just once…and you’ll learn to embrace the suffering that often accompanies following Christ (think missionaries, martyrs and more).
Having taught that little life lesson to many a teenager, let me tell you, the response is less than joyful. “What?” they say, “I’m gonna have MORE pain? What about the blessings?”
I have two responses to this.
Pain precedes growth in nature.
1. What do you have to do to build muscle?
(When I ask kids this, their responses vary, and most end in a biology lesson.)
The point is that muscles can only grow when they are torn (literally ripped apart microscopically), so that they can be rebuilt even stronger. Birds and butterflies. They have to WORK to the point of utter exhaustion to get out of their cozy shell/cocoon or they die in there.
Babies also must have the fluid squeezed out of them during birth or they drown in their own fluids (look it up – c-section babies have a boatload of suctioning before they can breathe).
2. Pain is a gift.
A gift from which comes joy, hope, rescue, new beginnings and an understanding or empathy we can share with others. This endurance creates a deeper need within you – one that only God can fill. This need drives you to Him – and only Him.
Never bring pain on yourself through disobedience. (Please note: don’t allow yourself to be abused either.)
But when life seems unfair and full of pain, accept it, breathe through it, and know He who began a good word in you will be faithful to complete it. The pain will end, and you will radiate with new understanding of what it means to follow Christ.
There is always Hope. Never. Ever. Let mere pain shake your faith.
Please read through these lyrics.
“Blessings” by Laura Story
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise