THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
In his book, Open Doors, Pastor Rick Warren shares this poignant reminder, “Your pain often reveals God’s purpose for you . . . . The very thing that caused you pain, God wants to use for good in your life . . . . he will use your pain to bring life and healing to others.” I am sure we all can say amen to this. God uses our pain and hurt to bless others, to be with others, and to give them strength and hope.
Nobody understands better how it feels to lose a spouse than you who have lost your loved ones. Nobody understands better how it feels to be so helpless and hopeless than you who have felt helpless and hopeless. And nobody understands better how it feels to be unemployed and so uncertain about the future than you who have been without a fixed income or no income for quite some time.
It is of course understood that the fact that we have gone through a certain pain and hurt does not automatically make us experts in that predicament. No, it certainly does not. Nevertheless, the fact that we have experienced it will make us more sympathetic to those who are experiencing it. Having gone through it we understand better, and this will serve as an open door to those in pain.
Having heard from you in this trying time, I must say that I am impressed by your resilience and high spirits. I have never heard you complain—even you who must be confined in your bedrooms! You have remained positive and upbeat; hunkering down does not have to make you bogged down. I believe you are strong because you have gone through much, and because you have gone through much, you have much—strength and hope—to share with others. Rick Warren calls it, redemptive suffering, when we, like Jesus did, “go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others.”