God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. -C.S. Lewis
The past month or so I have been on this journey. A journey of the Lord showing me that suffering and pain have their purpose in life. Generally, when we think of suffering and pain, we want to run the opposite direction. But the Lord has been showing me there are so many things He desires for me to learn in those moments.
Some of those things are:
- He will never leave or forsake me. (Isaiah 42:16)
- He has a purpose for allowing the pain or suffering. (1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 5:3-4)
- If I allow Him to work in and thru my pain, He will do a work in my heart. (1 Peter 5:10; Psalm 51:16-17)
You see, earlier this year the Lord showed me that by stuffing my pain, I also was missing out on feeling the depths of the joy and happiness He desires for me to feel. He showed me how it was getting in the way of my drawing closer to Him and He wanted me to see the harm it was doing in my life. I asked the Lord to help me deal with the things that I hadn't allowed myself to feel. I had no idea where that would lead.
Fast forward to this past month. God allowed some painful memories to crop up from my past. My initial reaction to it was, I am not going to feel this or think about this. I am so thankful that the Lord didn't allow me to stay there. He reminded me of what I had asked Him to do earlier. I told Him that I don't know what to do with the pain. He gently showed me that I needed to forgive the source of the pain and that I needed to feel the pain. There were no shortcuts nor was it easy but I can tell you, IT IS WORTH IT!!
I saw through this time that you can try to stuff the pain down deep, ignore the pain, and even numb it but it WON'T go away. It will stay there, waiting for you to deal with it and feel it. And you know, yes, it hurt a lot to feel the pain and it definitely wasn't easy. But the Lord was WITH me the entire time (even though I will say I had to grapple with Him for allowing it in the first place). He also showed me that by allowing Him to work through the pain, it is ultimately for my good and HIS glory. He was using the pain to show me areas in my life that I needed to surrender to Him. He wants my whole heart, even the part that was/is hurting. He wants to heal and redeem that part of me and then use what I have gone through to bring honor to Him.
So my challenge to you is this. When the Lord brings you to a place of pain, allows suffering or hardship, allow Him to do the work in you that He wants to do. Don't fight it because that only prolongs the healing and redemption! It may not be easy and it most likely will be painful, but the reward in the end is a closer walk with Him and a heart that is more free to feel joy and happiness.