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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Purpose of Pain

I have shared of late about some of the painful things our family has experienced over the past almost two years.  Just now, I am reviewing a journal entry from February 2017.  It was a response to Genesis 45:5 – 9 about which I wrote a couple of posts back.
The Purpose of Pain
If it is the case that God is sovereign.  If it is the case that He has scrutinized my path and knows all that I am thinking before I think it, Psalm 139:1 – 5 (here @ Bible Gateway).  If it is the case that He disciplines me in order to make me more like Him and His Son, Hebrews 12:10 (here @ Bible Gateway).  If it is the case that He has work that He for which He has designed me, which He established prior to the foundation of the world, Ephesians 2:10 (here @ Bible Gateway).  Then, it follows that all that He has brought into my life was intentional, purposeful, to equip me for that work.

In that journal entry, I listed 14 events that changed the course of my life and significantly impacted both my walk with Him and my understanding of the Word, myself, people and mission or ministry.

While there are many more that could be listed, and there are lessons ongoing, as I consider what the Lord has on my plate now, I can see how each of these events has conspired to prepare me for the current tasks.  At least seven of the events were deeply painful, they involved separations, betrayals, and relocations.  Some, including the painful events, were deeply confusing and disorienting.  Some removed “settled” life directions, and rattled deeply held convictions.

Now, as I ponder the list on the pages of my journal, as I consider how in the past few years I have drawn deeply on and from lessons that I can identify from each of these events on an almost daily basis, I can begin to see the sovereign hand of our sovereign, loving, faithful Lord shaping, pruning, and guiding through all of those to bring me here.

It reinforces for me that I can trust Him with all that will come next to continue to move and shape me into what He wants.  The reason that is important for me to remember, is that based on the past, some of those coming events will not be something for which I would gladly and quickly volunteer.

I am beginning to understand Hebrews 11:6 (here @ Bible Gateway).