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The Effect of Pain Can Be To Increase Our Thirst for God

May 30, 2012

“…whenever hurt is present, it must be embraced as an opportunity to enter more richly into the reality of a world in need of redemption. The effect of pain can be to increase our thirst for God and our desire to live for Him.”

Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 174

Question for Reflection:
Do you tend to move into pain or avoid it?
When you have moved into it, did it increase your desire to live for God? What did that look like?

  1. I have responded to pain in both ways in the past. The results are defined in time. When I run, I feel immediate relief followed by a distinct numbness that leaves me dry and empty. When I move into pain, it hurts more, even to the point of being too much, but then I find the opportunity to trust God believing that he will not let me completely fall in the abyss of depression. When I speak to Him about my heavy heart (usually with tears and anguish), I feel a gradual lifting that replaces my despair with hope!
    Ultimately, when God holds me up in those moments, it makes me want nothing else but Him.

  2. Ken permalink

    I really appreciate your comments, Trent! I agree–when I do my best to avoid a potentially painful situation, I usually end up feeling, as you stated, dry and empty. Unfulfilled.

    My appreciation and reliance on Romans 5:3-5 has grown over the years: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (NLT)

  3. Steve permalink

    I appreciate both of your responses, but I feel like your written response implies a speed that is not my experience. When I enter into the pain, I sometimes feel like Israel entering 400 years of captivity. Or Joseph entering years and years as a slave, rejected and despised by his family. Or Israel entering after the Red Sea to spend long, thirsty, hungry, homeless days. Perhaps even like Israel wandering for 40 years of pain. I find manna, I find springs, I find God in small bits and pieces, but never in the quantity I desire and never as quickly as I desire.

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