“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4, NLT
There are many different points where our Lord connects through our desperation. Our sorrow and confusion can be how God ‘wires us’ for additional contact— my pain becomes His copper wire. It is how He touches my heart as He flows through it.
It is helpful to see our issues in this way. There is a current that must work through us, making contact and ultimately to create a circuit. We have to experience pain, in order to know His presence. If you see a brother struggling, you should anticipate an additional special touch to follow after him. We must be aware that our distress allows us access to His careful grace. Our trials, properly received, endow us with a special and supplemental power.
When it gets dark, any light becomes exceptional. In a book by Stephen Lawhead, (I think it was “the Silver Hand.”) we see a man, the hero take up stones who have at one time been infused the creative power of the universe. Standing on the walls of a besieged stronghold, the desperate hero throws the stones down on the attackers. And as each stone smashes into the ground it releases a part of a song, which destroys the enemy, and defeats those strong in the darkness.
His Spirit infuses into our hearts. He has imparted something in us that is both precious and powerful. He works through the pain and struggles that we encounter. These are terribly ugly, no question. But it is through these we plug into something real and eternal. I suppose when the tragic finally brings real life it’s a most precious thing. We treasure all this that has come at such an exorbitant price.
Pain indeed has a purpose, and many times that comes at a high cost.
This is our purpose. It is what we’re called to be. I know that life is seldom easy. It is said that Queen Victoria, (who reigned the U.K. at the turn of the century) resisted vehemently her future coronation as the sovereign of England. She became rebellious and there were many who were frustrated in this. Once when Victoria was shown a lineage that directed her and revealed her place in England’s future as queen. She responded with an astonishing simple awareness, “I will be good.”
“Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His Presence.”