I’m sure many of you have had those days when it feels like the pain will never go away. The minutes, hours and days drag on and on… During those times we look around and we see others smiling, laughing and acting like they haven’t a care in the world. Then we look at some of our friends, co-workers or neighbors – why does it seem like nothing bad ever happens to them?
So why is it that sometimes it feels like every time you turn around more bad news hits? You make it through a severe illness and then you lose your job. Your mother comes to know the Lord and then your sister’s child ends up getting killed. You finally reach retirement where you feel comfortable in your investments and the bottom falls out of the stock market. You and your husband wait to have children and then you have a child that’s disabled. Why me???
This past summer I put together a bible study called Healing Hurts. A special small group of women joined me in this study, and in our first meet-up we were all in tears as we shared briefly about hurts and pain that we either had already gone through, or were going through currently. Every single one of us in that room had been crushed in one way or the other – a few were still working their way through it all.
There are so many different reasons that the Lord allows pain and suffering in our lives, but the bottom line is that pain and suffering allows us to grow in our faith in ways which would not be possible otherwise. It allows us to share – in a small way – the suffering that our Jesus endured for us when He died on the cross.
The apostle Paul certainly knew all about pain and suffering. He was beaten, stoned and shipwrecked, just to name a few. Yet he states in Gal. 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (italics mine).
Some of you might be thinking: “Paul was previously a murderer of Christians – God was probably paying him back for all the pain he caused. But I’ve never been that bad. So why do I have to go through all this suffering?”
It doesn’t matter…
Why? Because God has special plans for you – and for me. Our future is not here on this earth – it’s in eternity with Him! His plan is “to give [us] hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). Since He created each of us uniquely in our mother’s wombs (Ps. 139:13), do you not think He has everything under control?
Hang on, my brothers and sisters. Hang on tight to Jesus’ hand. No, things might not make sense right now, but someday – yes, someday – all these earthly cares will mean nothing. They will be but a distant memory.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Cor. 4:18