Plow Your Pain Into Something Good
Why does God allow pain and suffering? I’ve been thinking about this question as of late. You see, I had an employee whose mother was dying of brain and lung cancer, and although her mother put up a valiant fight, the cancer continued to grow. This employee is a constant reminder to all of us at the office of how you can drive immense pain and impending loss into something good. She savored every moment she had and made those last months a joyful experience for her mother.
Now imagine if she had taken a different tact to the situation. Suppose she had swallowed the bitterness of her mother’s diagnosis and simply focused on the pointlessness of life, rather than the joy? Suppose she had turned her face from God and shunned his very existence because of this immense loss? Would you blame her?
She could have plowed her sorrow into self-pity and victimhood; however, that road is exhausting and quite lonely. When you take that road, you begin to imagine that yours is the only life full of disappointment and sorrow. You close off from relationships as a way of protecting yourself from pain. You cease praying because the words you utter grow uninspiring.
Luckily for her (and us), she has found strength and joy in loving her mom. She has turned her face to God and celebrated those final moments she had left with her mother. Although there were times when she felt angry and confused by what was happening to her mother, overall, she chose to plow her sorrow into something good.
Human life is filled with any number of things that happen to us, despite our desires. In some sense, the beginning of true Christian faith is trusting that even in such moments, God abides with us. If you are facing loss and pain right now, think of this verse:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV)
FOR JUST AS WE SHARE ABUNDANTLY IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, SO ALSO OUR COMFORT ABOUNDS THROUGH CHRIST. IF WE ARE DISTRESSED, IT IS FOR YOUR COMFORT AND SALVATION; IF WE ARE COMFORTED, IT IS FOR YOUR COMFORT, WHICH PRODUCES IN YOU PATIENT ENDURANCE OF THE SAME SUFFERINGS WE SUFFER.