Fourteen years ago, an avalanche brought what I call “despairing of life” years. There were freeing moments but for the most part this season of pain and despair lasted through several beleaguered years.
Though you are a lowly worm . . . You will be a new threshing instrument
with many sharp teeth (Isaiah 41:14-15a).
While the weight of all that transpired brought about transforming work to a sheltered chrysalis and produced newness of life shining brighter and more splendid than ever before –
The pain is never gentle or agreeable!
Whether it’s birthing a baby, or watching a prodigal leave your home,
Whether it’s kissing goodbye a grandchild moving far away, or the funeral of a parent,
Life is painful!
Whether it’s the loss of a job or the promotion that got away,
Whether it’s an accumulation of debt, or a doctor’s grim diagnosis,
Life is painful!
Where do you turn with your pain?
The Apostle Paul responds with a precise conclusion, “I was crushed . . . so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God Who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Turning to the Lord during the crushing, painful times of life is the only means to seeing good come from the heartache. He is our powerful Tutor through the pain!
“The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others and fits us to help and sympathize with them.
There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. . . .
Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves.”A. B. Simpson – Streams in the Desert 1
Is the crushing power of God transforming you?