Vomiting my pain in a counselor’s office was not something that was ever on my radar in my 20’s but it was the reality of my 40’s. Not sure if anyone can relate, but I speculate many can at least identify with pain. Pain that can be stuffed…pushed to the depths of your being. Pain ignored to the point that you think maybe you just imagined the circumstances which created the “bleeding wound”…….!
Whoever God brings to read this post today….know…there is hope…hope in the midst of pain! The choice is yours….to first of all….acknowledge the pain. Stop denying it exists.
NO one, and I am certainly not the exception, wants to invite pain, hardship or tragedy into their life. There was NO RED carpet rolled out in expectation of the events that came my way. Events that presented adversity, pain and heartache. There is hope here…I want to encourage you….and warn you.
Let me start with the encouragement found in Isaiah 61:3. It is such a beautiful passage. “And provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” He can take the pain, the ashes, and turn it into something beautiful. A beauty we never imagined possible.
Here is the warning so many of us do not heed. One of the most dire and paralyzing mistakes we can make is in accepting the thinking that our problems disqualify us from being used by God.
Let me just say OUT LOUD here–if you don’t have any problems or adversity, you may not have any potential. I say this because your ability to really help others heal is limited to where you have been wounded. Yep, through your pain, walking in your shoes and your experience you have the ability to turn around and extend a loving hand to someone coming behind you on the “pain path”!
I have learned that the pain which comes into your life, whether invited or not, can be used as ministry. Otherwise, your pain remains just that, your pain. But if you turn to God and allow Him to work, then He can translate your pain into ministry. Then your pain becomes someone else’s gain! HOW COOL IS THAT!
I have lived and can now give testimony to how God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled and in despair, we are able to offer them the same comfort God has given us. We are told in 2 Corinthians that God is the God of all comfort. And in Isaiah 49:13 we are encouraged to “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”
So…I encourage you today…if you find yourself in the midst of the dark, the “bleeding,” the lonely, your back up against the wall kind of pain…TURN to Jesus. He is the greatest counselor. HE will not allow you to waste your pain. HE turned the water into wine. He can not only comfort you in your pain, but He can take your pain and turn it into a “POWERFUL MINISTRY”. At that point, you will find your pain fading…over time. Wounds heal. There may be scars. Even Jesus had scars on his hands and feet…..they serve a purpose as well. God doesn’t waste anything in our lives…when we give it to Him!