I do not like pain.
In fact, this moring, I found myself looking up words to describe my pain. (You can read about my condition in this post.)
- per·ni·cious [per-nish-uhs]
–adjective 1. causing harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful.
–adjective1.intended to entrap or beguile: an insidious plan.2.stealthily treacherous or deceitful3.operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect.–adjective deliberately faithless; treacherous; deceitful
When you start looking up words like that, you realize it's time for some serious reflection!
I don't know about you, but when I am in pain – be it physical or emotional – it is rarely helpful for me to focus on that pain.
It is helpful, though, for me to busy my mind and my body, if at all possible, on other things, projects, studies, and people.
It is also so helpful to be reminded of how the Apostle Paul dealt with his pain. Remember that his years as a missionary were not spent in ease. He describes his life's experiences with the following words:
- ship wrecked
That's an incredible list, isn't it?
And do you remember Paul's summation of his life of pain and suffering? It's rather incredible, too!
II Corinthians 12:9-10 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Now I realize that my life in no way compares to that of the Apostle Paul. My circle of influence is infinitely smaller than his, and I am no apostle, or preacher or missionary.
However, my role is still important. I do touch many lives in my little circle.
More importantly, though, is that the God of the Apostle Paul is my God too!
If God can use Paul's suffering to bring Himself glory, if Paul's weaknesses can highlight God's strengths, if God's grace was enough for Paul, then I know I can claim those promises for myself as well.
Today I will focus on God's strength, rather than my weakness.
I will look for His glory in the midst of my infirmities.
I will concentrate on His grace, rather than my pain.
Maybe you are hurting today, too. I encourage you to try to deal with it Paul's way! And let me know how it goes, ok? 🙂