Getting Good at Being You - conclusion
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Friend to Friend
One of the most important steps in discovering who we are in God’s eyes is learning how to view and deal with pain. Too often, we allow pain to imprison, paralyze or even destroy our lives. For years, I allowed the pain of clinical depression to do just that. But, through that experience, have learned an important truth. God came for broken people. In fact, God shines best through broken people.
In A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway writes, “The world breaks everyone and many are strong at the broken places.”
Jesus looked out over the crowd that had gathered before him in the synagogue. (Luke 13) I am sure there were many women in the crowd. Jesus knew them all. He could have chosen the most beautiful woman. He could have chosen the most gifted woman but He chose the most broken woman. This woman had been sick for 18 years and no one would have blamed her if she had been bitter or angry with God. But here she was, in the synagogue, still searching, using her pain! In fact, her pain was a highway that led straight to the healing and restoration that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Friend, your pain can lead you to Him! Don’t waste your pain.
Pain comes to us with God’s permission. There is a purpose in every pain! C.S. Lewis says that God whispers to us in pleasure but shouts in our pain! Author and speaker, Barbara Johnson says, “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional!”
Pain carries with it a choice.
A choice in attitude
A choice in direction
A choice of victory or defeat
A choice of bitterness or sweetness
A choice of healing or sickness
Let me ask you a question. What have you done with your pain?
My husband coached our daughter’s middle school coed soccer team, much to my dismay. I was always afraid that those “big bullies” would hurt my baby girl. And they did! During a playoff game, Danna was dribbling the ball toward the goal when a boy on the other team elbowed her in the chest. Danna doubled over in pain and made her way to the sideline where she collapsed in her dad’s arms. Dan was comforting her when she angrily announced “I’m gonna’ go back in there and punch his lights out!” Sounded like a plan to me, but fortunately, her dad was wise as he asked, “Danna, do you really want to get him?” Her reply was swift, “Yes, dad! I really want to get him!” Dan told her to go back in the game and score the winning goal. She did! And in the process, learned a valuable lesson. We can harness our pain and use it for good. Anything that makes us cry out to God can be counted as a blessing. Don’t waste your pain, my friend. Don’t allow your pain to create or mar your identity. Embrace it and look for the treasure it holds.
Father, sometimes the pain is so bad that I want to give up, to quit. Please help me to see the pain in my life for what it really is…a tool that You can use for my good. Right now, I surrender the pain I am experiencing today and ask You to strengthen me, refine me and mold me into the woman You want me to be. Help me to see myself…in Your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Now it’s your turn
Take inventory of the pain in your life today. How does it affect your thoughts and actions?
How has the pain of your past affected who you are today?
Do you realize just how much God loves you? Read Psalm 56:8 and celebrate that love: “You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book”.
More from the Girlfriends
I hope this series of devotionals has been a blessing and a tool for your life. Don’t settle for anything less than God’s very best for you. Believe Him when He tells you that you are precious in His sight! Praise Him that He has a unique plan just for you! I pray that you will learn to see yourself as God sees you! Blessings!
For more on this topic, order Mary’s CD, Getting Good at Being You.
Girlfriends in God
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Thursday, 08 March 2007.