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Maybe Hannah has the answer; her soul ripped and torn under the weight of a barren womb and the constant taunting of her rival. . .
. . she was greatly distressed and prayed to the Lord . . .- 1 Samuel 1:10
Or possibly Job, his heart frayed at the loss of his family and livelihood, his body sore from top to bottom with oozing boils. . .
. . .I had heard of Him but now my eyes have seen Him . . .- Job 42:5
Perhaps David’s poetic heart song can give us the hints we need . . .
.. .I would have despaired unless I believed . . .- Psalm 27:13
Or maybe Jeremiah, weeping and wailing, his heart and soul in deep anguish at the thought of the destruction of his beloved people and nation . . .
. . .there is a balm in Gilead . . .-Jeremiah 8:22
What about Stephen, his body snapping like a twig under the weight of the boulders being sent crashing down on his limbs . . .
. . .I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing. . . – Acts 7:55
And of course there’s Paul and Silas; shackled to the walls of a rusty Roman jail, backs freshly bruised from the beating and skin on their ankles blackened from tightly strung chains . . .
. . .about midnight [they] were praying and singing hymns of praise . . .Acts 16:25
Or maybe. . .just maybe. . . the message is just as clear; the mystery as easily unraveled when no words are spoken.
She never spoke.
The woman, painfully embarrassed and humiliated, having been caught by the Pharisees in the very act of adultery. She just looked into the soft, caring eyes of the One who didn’t throw a stone (but had every right to) and heard:
. . .just go and sin no more . . .
She said nothing; just sat in the fresh wound caused by humiliation of the worst kind and listened. . .
. . .then left His presence brand new.
Mysteriously there seems to be a blessing in pain. It causes us to check the barometer of our activities and clearly see the reality of our circumstances. It forces us to seek refuge and protection, safe harbor and retreat. Pain is. . .well. . . painful. But ironically it is the gift that keeps us from further discomfort. When we feel it, it becomes a teacher pointing us to the only correct Answer there is.
And so, our Father, like any loving parent, desires for us the blessing of pain because, mysteriously, it keeps us, comforts us, humbles us, teaches us and drives us back to safety.
In spite of it all, bolster up the courage to see beyond.
Then whisper “thank you” to the One who loves you most.
Priscilla Shirer, a speaker and author, has spent more than a decade addressing major corporations, organizations, and Christian audiences around the world. This is adapted from her blog "Jewelry Box." Visit her website at www.goingbeyond.com for more information about her ministry.
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