Friday, December 12, 2008

Pain is Essential II

We've come to understand that pain in a Christian life is essential. Do you ever look back on a painful situation that ultimately led to some positive change in your life and ask if it was worth it? Do you ever count the cost? Do a simple cost/benefit analysis? If you could unwind the clock and reclaim what was lost - the spouse, the friend, the job, the victory - would you do it knowing what you would give up, what you would forfeit from your current life?

Let me be specific to give you something to chew on. Personally, I have known God, I mean really had a close relationship with him, only for about 3 years. It all began when I was at the lowest point in my life. My wife had just told me, after 10 years of marriage, that she was done with me. I was lost in such a dark place, such a lonely place, that I simply wanted out. I wanted the end - my end. I felt like my life was too far gone to be saved. I was broken and worthless. It was only at this point, my nadir, that I was finally able to hear God speak to my heart. I would not have come to know him as I have if I not gone through this living hell.

So, was this a fair deal? Does the benefit outweigh the cost? On one side of the balance is a life with God, on the other, my wife and the life I knew. There was no way to have both. Truly I say to you, it is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply. What do you think?