Thursday, October 13, 2016

Purpose In The Pain

We are all going through something or just coming out of something or getting ready to go through something. No one is immune to the consequences of a life lived. We all have things we wish we could do better or different. No matter where you are, there is purpose.

For me, life has dealt me a card that is so hard to bear that only God can get me through it. Pain. Physical pain. The kind of pain that you cannot escape from with a magical pill or potion or essential oil. The kind of pain that shakes you to the core and has you wondering why you are even alive.

When I first started having symptoms of chronic pain, I didn't know it would last this long. I didn't know that four years down the road I would still be there. Stuck in the pain. Stuck in the deep, dark pit of self pity and anxiety and depression. But, it's my journey. God knows my pain. He has been with me every step, tear, and scream of the way.

God has also been with me when I questioned Him. I questioned why He would do this to me. Why would He curse me with this terrible disease? But, I knew the answer all along. Sin. Sin did this to me. I don't mean I am being punished. I mean, sin entered the world and gave us pain, heartache, depression, separation from God.

Through the years I have gone through every single emotion a human can go through. Anger, sadness, joy, hope, resentment, self pity, jealousy, fear, depression. That last one sticks with me. I bury it under many layers of other emotions but it is there. Always wanting to rear its ugly head. Always taunting me to give up hope. Give up any thoughts of being healed.

But, God. He sustains me. He has given me purpose in this pain. I don't know what that purpose is other than to make me stronger. Stronger in my faith. Stronger as a wife. Stronger as a mother. Sometimes I don't feel the purpose. Sometimes I feel it so much that my heart could burst.

Through my relationship with Jesus, my Savior, I can say, "I am Healed!" I am still in pain. But, I am healed. This body is not my forever body. My eternal body won't have this pain. But, my purpose is to get through this life proclaiming God's love and mercy and grace and healing.

I have been to the bottom of the pit. Probably even below the bottom of the pit. God didn't give up on me. He never gives up. His strength becomes my strength. His endurance becomes my endurance. I press into Him and He guides me through every painful moment. He sees me. He comforts me and shelters me and redeems me.

So my point is this: There is purpose in the pain. God's purpose. Not mine. His plan. Not mine. His mercy. His love. His faithfulness. His strength. Not mine. Physical pain is hard. It messes with your mind. It makes you feel hopeless and helpless. But those are not of God. Those are the lies of the enemy.

Jesus suffered a greater pain than I have ever felt. He died in my place on the cross. He took on all of my sins (and yours). He loves us so much that He died the death we deserved. He lived a sinless and perfect life and CHOSE to carry that cross to Calvary. He humbled Himself and felt all the emotions and pain that a human can feel. He saw how ugly and sinful and ungodly we are and still chose to save us. Wow.

Whatever pain you are going through (there are so many types of pain), God's got a purpose for it. His plans are always higher. Always. I have to remind myself daily that this world is not my home. This body is not my body. It is only temporary. Whether I am healed here on earth or when I get to Heaven and have a new body, I will get through it. I will sing God's praises and shout for joy!

"For I know the plans I have for you,
Declared the Lord,
Plans to prosper you and
not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope
and a future."
-Jeremiah 29:11

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