A good friend of mine always reminds me that “God wastes nothing” …including our suffering. It is amazing how the LORD can get our attention through our pain.
I love this quote by C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I have noticed that when I am dealing with a greater dose of physical pain, I become increasingly mindful of those family or friends that are dealing with the same struggles or even more challenging suffering. It heightens my compassion and understanding for others in a way that would never have been accomplished had I not endured suffering myself. Perhaps, most importantly, my suffering drives me to pray much more for those that are hurting. My pain becomes like a timer on the oven, that reminds to pray for those that are dear to my heart and dear to the heart of God.
Friends, suffering is not something we chase after, but what an incredibly awesome opportunity it provides when we run to our Comforter Jesus and are used for His glory to intercede for others when we feel our weakest and most inadequate. And what a privilege to pray for others with a heart that is now fully in sync with theirs because we understand their suffering with greater insight and can pray accordingly. And what joy can fill our hearts because we when know the comfort Jesus is giving us and we can now give to others out of a heart that is filled up and overflowing. Only Our God can do that!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7