A Purpose Found in Pain

A Purpose Found in Pain

You may have a loved one who has gone on to be with the Lord. Sometimes you go to their grave to pay your respects, have a conversation, pray, or simply be silent. Regardless of the reason, your visitation to that place floods you with emotions. For Mary and Martha, the scene at the tomb of their brother Lazarus must have been the place where pain was the greatest.

John 11:38 ends with these words: “It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance” (NIV). These simple words give us a glimpse of the scene. Here was the place of darkness and loneliness. The stone across the entrance signified that all hope was lost.

C.S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Sometimes it is in your place of greatest pain that you will hear the voice of God the loudest. In 1 Kings 18, the prophet Elijah faces off with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. God sends fire down from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice, thus proving that “the Lord—he is God” (v. 39 NIV). Elijah then kills the prophets of Baal.

In 1 Kings 19, Queen Jezebel declares she is going to murder Elijah, so the prophet flees for his life. Verse 4 says, “He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die” (NIV). The pain drives Elijah so far that he becomes suicidal.

God then directs Elijah to a cave on a mountain. Having just witnessed the awesome power of the Lord on Mount Carmel, the prophet probably expected a mighty demonstration. A “great and powerful wind” comes by (v.11), followed by an earthquake and a fire. But God isn’t in any of them. Instead, He comes in a “gentle whisper” (v. 12) and gives Elijah much-needed strength, encouragement, and wisdom.

Pain was the megaphone that drove Elijah to encounter God. Perhaps your pain will do the same for you. Perhaps your place of pain is where you will encounter God in a way you would never have imagined.

This excerpt came from Dr. Jon Chasteen's book, Half the Battle: Healing your Hidden HurtsJon Chasteen explores Old and New Testament examples of people whom God invited to begin the healing process by confronting their secret pain. God wants to visit the place of your pain, redeem your past, and set you free. Purchase your copy at the link, here.

Copyright © 2020 by Jon Chasteen

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