Don't Waste Your Pain—Invest It

 
"Dear Brothers [and sisters], is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete." James 1: 2-4 (TLB)

In almost every trial we face God is seeking to "tell" us something. Sometimes the only time he can get our attention is when we're hurting sufficiently to slow us down so we will stop and listen.

That has certainly been true in my life. On one occasion, God used an accident and a time in the hospital to get my attention and to speak to me. The decision I made as a result ended up radically changing the total course of my life. Another time God used a major crisis and loss to expand my work. He used another setback to get me started writing. That has been a while, and everyday he helps me improve to use words to reach his people!

When you are hurting, you can be sure that God has something to say to you too—something for your good. Ask him to help you hear what it is and to give you the courage to do what he is telling/leading you to do. Whatever it is, you can be certain it will enrich your life in one way or another.

Furthermore, whatever you do, don't waste your pain. Invest it in your own growth and then in helping another fellow struggler along the way.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see how you want to use all the trials that come my way to help me grow and change my life for the better. And please help me never to waste my pain but to invest it wisely in my own growth and in making me a more effective helper to other fellow strugglers. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."