Do you question God about the pain you are experiencing in your life? Do you wonder how long you are going to have to continue enduring it? Have you ever stopped and reflected on painful situations that God has brought you through or how it made you stronger?
Pain is not a bad thing when it is an agent for positive change, maturation, or spiritual growth in one's life. It can actually be good for us. Pain is something that makes people stop dead in their tracks to seek relief. No one wants to stay in pain, regardless if it is physical or emotional pain.
I am reminded of a recent kidney stone attack. I had neglected my health for 4 and half years because I thought I couldn't afford to spend money in that direction. Even though I had insurance, the out-of-pocket expenses were still extremely high. When I started to hurt I wanted to avoid going to the hospital, but it was the only place that had the equipment to truly diagnose the problem. Reluctantly I went because the pain was just too intense, and I couldn't physically take it any longer. I ended up finding out that my body was mass producing stones and I needed further medical attention.
This pain I experienced was not in vain... it was God's way of getting my attention, showing me that I needed to take care of myself, and that I need to trust Him to provide ALL my needs. As a single parent, my boys need a healthy mother that will be around to care for them, love them, teach them, and protect them. Sure money is very tight, but I can't afford NOT to take care of myself because my children depend on me. If I do not take care of myself, I am not setting a good example for my boys. So, ultimately I can see the purpose behind the pain I had to endure. God used it to teach me a lesson.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." -Romans 8:28-29
Pain has a purpose in every area of our lives. We certainly can apply this to our relationships. The pain I experienced in my marriage seemed unbearable at the time, but to look back and see how God has used it to transform my life is amazing. On the outside, I looked like the victim. However, there were so many areas of my life that needed to be refocused. God truly used the pain I experienced to teach me, bring forth positive change in my life, and help me to mature and grow in Him. Without the pain I had to experience, I would not be where I am now. When I think of pain, I see a mental image of God as the Potter molding us into His masterpiece. The lessons may be difficult, but the end result is beautiful.
"Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." -Isaiah 68:8
Jerry Bridges is a christian author and evangelist. Below is a powerful quote by him about why God allows pain in our lives. I think his explanation of pain is profound.
"God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son."
I know so many of our readers are in the midst of a painful journey. Just remember the Potter is molding you into His masterpiece. He will use this to help you grow in Him. It seems difficult now, but He will give you the strength to face the battle and be victorious.
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