When I am going through the middle of a trial or a period of suffering, it is often hard to keep in perspective that my trials and sufferings are temporary, while the results produced in me are eternal. I have a tendency to forget that Christians are “more than conquerors” and act like I have been defeated.
In the last four years, I have undergone a significant period of testing, with trials against my family, my finances, my health, even my life. I have to confess, I have not always lived victoriously through these tests. I remember once I called my pastor to moan and complain, looking for a little sympathy, and instead I got a verbal spanking. He was gentle with me, but among other things he said, “God never wastes a hurt.”
What he meant by that was that God uses for His eternal glory the temporary sufferings we go through. All of them. I have become convinced that I may never understand why I have gone through certain things in my life. When I read the book of Job, God tells the reader about the scene in Heaven where Satan convinces God to test Job’s faith, but He never explains the test to Job. I am beginning to see in my own life and in other’s lives though, that often when I go through testing and come out victoriously on the other side, the lessons I have learned are there so that I can take another believer through those tests later. The hurt I felt wasn’t wasted, it was there so I could walk hand in hand with someone else that was also hurting and help them see God in the battle.
As a writer, I feel a special blessing in that I can share the lessons I’ve learned through the lives of my fictitious characters and perhaps help many people walk through the same trials with victory. I also feel a burden to do so. But even outside my writing, I have opportunities to reach out to others every day; at work, in my neighborhood, in my church, among my children’s friends’ parents; and walk with others who are hurting the ways I’ve hurt in the past so that my pain is not in vain.
So my challenge to you is, don’t let your hurts go wasted. See what God wants to do with them!