Unlimited: Pain is a Teacher
Jun 15, 2020 654
Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2–3 NIV).
Shadows compose half the beauty of the world, and in every human life it is the same. You never see a great painting without shadows. Malcolm Muggeridge said, “The only ultimate tragedy is to so settle down in this world that you feel at home in it.” That is the only ultimate tragedy.
We can only learn to be patient and to be kind, forgiving and merciful if we endure pain. The best teacher is pain. In a rebellious world there is only one way that the character of rebels can be changed and made luminous and wonderful: that is by pain. Without pain we would be destroyed, and be worthless. I guess that in our pain we remember that God is in control.
The fact that Christ could feel forsaken means that we need never feel forsaken. The fact he felt forsaken did not mean he was. You and I often feel forsaken. This does not mean that we are forsaken, anymore than Christ feeling forsaken was evidence that he was.
Black Friday became Good Friday, and this is the greatest parable of all: that the things that hurt us most can ultimately help us be the best. To suffer is terrible, but to have suffered is wonderful.
– Des Ford (adapted)
Eli’s Reflection: These are pretty challenging ideas. We don’t like to think of pain as a teacher, that it might have some benefits. What have you learnt by going through the most difficult times in your life? Make a list, and share it with someone you trust.