Have you ever prayed for struggles in your life before? Like actually prayed that you might have them? If so, what did you mean by that? Sometimes we see others throughout our life that have been through the ringer in life and have come out oozing strength in Christ. Its easy to envy that. Have you ever prayed for pain though? Not like a bee sting pain, but actual heart wrenching, on your knees, giving it all up pain.
Pain is something we typically try to avoid. From the time we’re little our parents wrap us in bubble wrap and take every precaution to keep us from actually finding out what pain really is. But what is so wrong with pain?
Pain, struggles, hardships, bad times or seasons in your life are all talked about in a negative connotation. They’re bad things. But what if we need the pain to see the beauty of the comfort? When we think of Christ’s death on the cross, does it just make us sad or do we actually think about the purpose of the pain?
Lets face it, our nation is obsessed with comfort. Our user friendly, double stuffed, drive through, get rich quick nation doesn’t like the idea of hurting. There is a certain way of life that has for some reason been labeled in our generation as “comfortable” and therefore good. In the same way, there is a certain life path that has been labeled “practical” in our generation and also, therefore good. I don’t like that very much.
Speaking personally, practical hasn’t really been a big part of my life just yet. Practically, I wouldn’t have spent every dime I made in my bajillion jobs over the years on horses. Practically, I would still be in college. Practically, Isaac and I would not have gotten married at 20 and 21. Practically, by the world’s terms we would have lived more of our “young life” before we dove into full time jobs and lifelong commitment. Practically, we would have had our feet on the ground more before we up and moved across the country…. haha. All I can say is, praise the Lord it was His shot to call and not ours, because thats what He chose to build this crazy wonderful life off of.
I’m not saying practical decisions are wrong at all. I’m just saying that sometimes life for Christ is very much not practical. When He calls you to move, just be ready to move, no “ifs” or “butts” about it. Thats something He’s definitely taught us the hard way, but that was our story of the good kind of pain that we will forever be grateful for.
What I’ve learned about Jesus and “practical” is that He will either make the 5 loaves of bread and two fish work or He will humble you. Using the word “humble” is my gentle way of implying that that’s where the pain would come in. Learning and growing and letting our hearts be teachable HURTS. But, like I said, thats the good pain!
They say you’re not a good horseback rider until you’ve fallen off at least 20 times. Maybe God has a similar approach. Nobody asks to fall off a horse, but theres pride in knowing that you’re challenging yourself and becoming a better rider every time. God loves us enough to make sure that we don’t wallow in ruts of comfort. He challenges us in the best ways, and teaches us to love the ride more with every fall.
Don’t let your fear of pain or your fear of being impractical keep you from putting yourself in a position where you’re ready for the five loaves of bread and two fish God is ready to make out of your situation. He wants your crazy, impractical faith to bring purpose out of the pain.
I have learned that I am always looking for the next season of life. I am always waiting for God to use me for something bigger and better. The truth is though, He already is. My waiting, my praying, my learning, it’s all Him moving. Our God does not move at all without purpose. Let Him teach you when you’re still and see it as beautiful. Let Him teach you when you’re running, or even falling, and see it as Him giving you a new opportunity for growth. If He blesses you enough to let you experience pain, He will bless you enough to teach you wisdom through it. That’s what pain really is when you’re experiencing it with Christ – a blessing.
Maybe you should ask someone their story. Ask them about the steps they took in faith. Ask them about the hard parts and the pain and Gods crazy cool purpose for it all. Grab a bag of popcorn while you’re at it because I guarantee its gonna be a good story if God wrote it.