Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Does God use Pain?

Nothing happy, clappy, or funny to write today. Today's just too hard, too painful, and too alone.

In the ninth chapter of the gospel of John, there is a blind man described. This guy used to sit there and beg, because he had no way of doing anything to earn a living.

He'd been blind from birth. Imagine his torment throughout childhood. Being ostracized by classmates, or maybe even completely excluded from school. Even into adulthood, most believed he was cursed of God, either for his own sin or his parents'. And he probably had experienced his fair share of feeling abandoned by God.

I can relate. I've been feeling pretty alone since June, and for reasons none but one or two of you know, it's worse today than ever. Excluded and ostracized by all but a few. Even some who at first stuck by me and claimed they'd be my friends forever have bailed out.

But you know what? It's only been six months. Half a year. Just 1/78th of my life, really.

Sure, I can't imagine a lifetime of feeling this way, and can't imagine being able to. But the question is, "Am I willing to? Am I willing to endure anything that is in God's plan for my life?"

I think that's the key right there: remembering that God does in fact have a plan. There was a plan for the blind man, certainly. Jesus knew his torment, and said that his situation "was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." (Jn. 9:3) Jesus knew that his torment was coming to an end, and sight would soon be given to him.

Do I believe that in my life a huge miracle is going to happen? That like Job, my latter days will be blessed more than my beginning? That God will make everything new and better than before? I don't know - that's up to God to decide. If it happens, it certainly won't be because I earned it. But the bigger picture is that it honestly doesn't matter, so long as I can still say, as David did, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me." (Ps. 23:4)

Chew on that for awhile, whydontcha?

Note: Several concerned emails within an hour of posting make me think that I didn't get my point across very well. This was supposed to sound encouraging, folks. My faith is strong, and not dependent upon my circumstances, no matter how long they last, no matter what God's plan for the future is. He is God, I am not, and I'm relying upon Him. That's GOOD, right???