Pain Has a Purpose

We can all identify with the experience of pain. Physically, it’s our bodies telling us something is rotten in Denmark. Mentally, I see pain as our spirit crying out. Whether it’s the chronic illness that will not respond to medical interventions or the chronic pain that a Sandpaper Person in your life provides, we all share that knowing.

Pain always has a purpose, though. I believe that with everything within me. And, God promises that our pain will not be forever. The same God who knit me together in my mother’s womb, who formed me before my mama ever knew she wanted to be with my daddy – He will turn my pain into something.

Something good.

Because even when All The Things are working against me, in every or any way imaginable, He is still able to work all those things together. For the good of those that love Him.

And I do love Him.

In fact I’m counting on Him to work some things together.

Can I get an ‘Amen’?

While I wait, though, it seems like a good idea to remember the very many “things” He has already worked together for my good.

Providing distance for relationships to heal.

Sending encouragement at the times I need it most.

Bestowing grace upon grace upon grace.

Supplying for needs I didn’t even know I had.

Illuminating the dark areas of my heart that I was unable to see.

Reminding me of His presence when I didn’t think to look for Him.

Knowing that my pain, whether physical or mental, has a purpose is comforting to me. Being able to look back and see places that Grace lovingly entered in and diluted the pain of a situation, is also a gift. It’s one that I keep unwrapping, years later, in some cases.

What a blessed reassurance that I matter. That whatever I find myself walking through, whether the valley of the shadow of death, taunts from those who don’t love me, or the very rotting of my bones, He will not leave.

I don’t know what pain you find yourself walking through, my friend. And, some of your pain I can’t comprehend. But, I know that some of you feel as if you are literally walking across hot coals. Surely, one of you are reading this post and you desperately need to hear this truth for the first time, or be reminded of it:

You matter. Your pain matters to God. He loves you.

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Rest in that, friend. And know that you are being prayed for.

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This post is day 26 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

Sole Comfort

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Charles Schulz penned a Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy sits atop his doghouse wondering “Who comforts the comforter?”  I can’t even tell you how many friends have sent that to me over the years.

The first few times I received it, I laughed uncomfortably.  They were all emailed or snail-mailed or Facebook messaged with little notes saying things like, “Take time to fill up your own tank, too.” and “Who’s helping YOU through this?”.

The next time or two that this cartoon drifted into my inbox, I sat up and took notice.

It slowly dawned on me that in all of my desire to comfort and encourage others, I had missed how necessary it was to accept comfort for myself!

Although there are sweet friends who have done a lion’s share of comforting over the years, my sole source is God.  It is He who stands with me and for me, and never leaves me to stand alone.

It is He who provides the experiences that allow me to then pour comfort out onto others.

And that is a gift.

Yes, indeedy!

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker , and all of the writer hearts that join her, for her Five Minute Friday write.  The only rules are to write on a one-word prompt that she gives for five minutes and to encourage a couple of other brave souls who have shared as well.  If you’re curious what others thought of when they heard the word “comfort”, just click the button below. 

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