Top Posts of 2011 #6

The Gift of Pain

Posted on April 18, 2011 by 

I have five boxes sitting in the back of my car, I have peeked in at their contents but don’t have the nerve to go through them yet. Right after Jake died friends and family just packed up our house for us since we never went back home to our house. The accident happened at our house and we didn’t want to go back – we moved in immediately with my parents.
My cousin has stored this boxes in her attic since the accident. They are moving and she called me one night and said that she found boxes of Jake’s stuff. I teared up a bit and asked what was in the boxes. His toys, his backpack – the one he took to preschool each day, some clothes, you know, boy stuff. Brad and I picked up the boxes and they are still sitting in the back of my car. I see them in my rearview mirror but I avoid the inevitable and keep driving around with a car full of stuff.
I peeked in and saw items that my Jake used to hold. I take another glance and a see a backpack that he carried himself so proudly as he walked into his preschool room. I close up the box tightly, some things just hurt too much to look inside. Yet, I want to see it but then I don’t. So I go on, driving around town looking like I am the one moving.
In these last few weeks, I have had dear friends who have had their lives interrupted by pain. Not the death kind of pain, but the life kind of pain. We all experience it, we are going about our lives and suddenly an event happens that shakes us to the core. The pain of living in this fallen world. Often, we can deny the pain and keep the box closed but some events just force the box wide open and we must come into contact with the pain and sin of this world. It hurts and we hurt and we are left sitting around looking life and wondering why this had to happen.
In our small group, we are going through David Platt’s Old Testament Survey and he said something that stuck out to me yesterday. “It is not in our successes that we grow closer to God but in our pain.” Amen. He also said that pain is a privilege because it is what God uses to draw us to him. I have often considered writing a book called “the privilege of pain.” Because I don’t know much, but I know that to be true = that God uses our pain to draw us closer to him.
On my run this morning, my prayer list was long and many are hurting but I was reminded to be thankful for the pain in my life and the pain in the life of my friends. That heartbreak really is a gift from God because a life lived without trouble is sure to be a life lived away from the presence of God. Instead of ignoring those boxes in my car, I am going to get them out and bring them in. I am going to open the painful parts of my heart and let him use that anguish to draw my closer to him.

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