Our Pain Has a Purpose
We recently sat with friends over dinner who shared with us that God was calling them to adopt. They said they always had a sense that this would be in store for them, but were hesitant on timing - life had become comfortable for them again with good jobs, two children and an overall healthy rhythm for their family. However, while the benefits of comfort had settled in, they'd begun to question to what end. Where would a comfortable life ultimately lead them? At the end of the day, how does the mission of God in this world benefit from their ease? Do they really want to look back on their lives and say it was easy, or do they want to say it was worth it? Big difference.
We celebrated their calling and very much affirmed and were challenged by the questions they had been asking themselves. We asked them why now - Why do you feel like now is the time God is stirring your hearts in this way? What is different now than at any other time before?
The wife immediately began to share how in the last two years she had learned of a great injustice that had been done to her. To no fault of her own she had experienced betrayal and a profound depth of hurt - the kind that causes you to question everything. She had been blindsided by something that was completely out of her control. She had been the unwilling recipient of someone else's poor decisions.
She shared that as she had come to terms with that, and journeyed through the long process of being healed by Jesus, her heart was eventually brought to a place of forgiveness and reconciliation. The grace of God, now more than ever, was sufficient for her in the worst experience of her life. But it did not end there…
She said since then, the more she considered God’s call for them to care for the marginalized, oppressed and orphaned kids in this world, the more she found herself identifying with their plight. Not specifically in terms of the abuse or neglect or tragedy many of them have experienced, but rather the pain of injustice they have both endured at the hands of others. How could I, she said, experience a grave injustice myself and not be broken for others who are victims of the same? I did nothing to deserve this, and neither did they. Because of my experience I am compelled to seek justice for them. This is how we know that it’s the right time. It’s the perfect time.
God can use the injustices done to you to change the world through you. Your pain has a purpose. It is not meaningless. He can redeem your hurts to bring healing to others. He can heal your heart and bind your wounds and soothe your sufferings so that through you others might know of a God who loves and heals and restores people just like them.
The grace of God’s healing towards you was never meant to terminate on you. It is to be received by you, experienced in you, and then extended through you to others. His grace can take the worst experience of your life and turn it into your greatest ministry for the Kingdom. That’s how amazing His grace is. It outweighs the momentary burden with an eternal weight of glory.
Your pain has a purpose. It does not define you or defeat you. In the healing power of Jesus, it drives you.