I thought I should warn you in advance that this is likely to be a super long blog post as the Lord has been teaching me so much lately! I've had a rather contemplative week and lots of little things have come up that I would like to share with you. :)
To start with, for some reason yesterday I recalled something my grandfather told me years ago. It remains probably the most helpful advice I've ever had and something that I try to apply - but it is one of those things that certianly requires God's grace! He said to me, "God gives us pain to tell us that something is wrong."
In the immediate context he was referring to physical pain as he had cancer. He'd recently been reading about a ministry with people who had leporosy and so they could not feel the warning signs of pain that alerted them to something being wrong. But it really struck me that my grandfather, who was in such pain himself, was able to say that!
And I think that it can be applied to pain of different kinds as well. I am slowly learning that all of us are called to endure pain while in this world, be it physical or otherwise - it is part of living in a fallen world. Some of it will be a breakdown in relationships, a sudden and unexpected death, a severe illness, lonliness...the list goes on and on, and I'm sure you know what pain the Lord has been bringing you through. But perhaps all this pain is supposed to be a reminder to us that we all have something wrong with us, a bad condition (SIN); that we live in a sinful world, that we ourselves are sinners and we should, no, MUST rely on God's grace to get us through every single day. So maybe we need to start seeing pain as a wake-up call from the Lord to look to Him and see things from an eternal perspective rather than a temporary one. Our own pain ought to spur us on to evangelism and sharing with others the great hope that we have: that the pain and suffering we see all around us in this world is going to be gone when Christ comes again!
On a differnt note, I saw this trailer the other day for the film 'Unstoppable' and it certianly looks like something worth looking at!!! I don't live in the US, so unfortunately I won't be able to view it but for any of you who do and are wrestling with questions as to why God allows suffering, I highly recommend you look into it. Here is the trailer and you can read more about it by visiting their website: http://unstoppablethemovie.com/