Small Pain, Superior Purpose

Hey friends, it’s been a minute!  I’ve missed this space a lot, but I have been busy transitioning into new routines…does anyone else find September-October to be huge transition months?  There’s school and all the kids’ activities, and for me there is also rediscovering the ebb and flow of life in ministry (I teach the Bible with Bible Study Fellowship, which runs from September thru May). 

I’ve been bummed that my writing goals went out the window recently, but then a wise friend reminded me to give myself grace. 

I’m learning that goals are great, but grace is greater.

I’ve needed grace.  Because on top of all the normal, back-to-life good stuff going on, me and my people have been experiencing some hard stuff too.  It ranges from the irritating to the unbelievable, from simply annoying to true spiritual attack.  At times like these, the natural questions for God are “why would you let this happen?”  And “how much longer, God?”  It’s impossible to see the point of some of this stuff, in the moment.

Well, the other day I lived out a perfect metaphor for what I’m going through.  It was time to give my cat his monthly dose of medicine, which is a liquid I squeeze onto the skin between his shoulder blades.  I do not love this particular chore, because he seems to take it pretty personally.  He always runs away from me, but this time he stopped and looked back, flashing me a look of pure, wounded betrayal.  In that look I saw the question, “how could you do this to me?!” 

It was so heartbreaking!  I always felt the same way when my babies needed shots or blood drawn.  The look of hurt and shock in their little faces always broke my heart and made me wish I could just explain to them that everything I did, or allowed the nurses to do, was for their own good.  I allowed small pain for a superior purpose. 

I don’t know why my family and I are going through some really difficult things lately.  But I am reminded to focus on what I do know: God is good.  He is in control.  He allows small pain for a superior purpose.  He will use these difficult things for my good and His glory.

I love it when you can look back and see why God allowed tough stuff to happen.  I also know that some of it won’t ever make sense to my human mind.  So, I trust Him.  I pray.  I try to respond like a daughter of Christ and sometimes I even succeed.  I remember that in the context of eternity, all my troubles are but light and momentary (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Most of all, I keep my eyes on Him, looking not with wounded betrayal but with a belief that in all things—even the worst things—He works for the good of those who love Him. 

If you’re going through hard stuff today, you’re not alone.  Our God is a God of powerful goodness and He is right here, already working in the middle of the mess. 

Talk about grace.

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