Our group sat around the table and sniffled. It was hard to know what to say.
When a pain is so deep it pulls the heart tight, a person is often at a loss for words.
Our little group of moms who meet at Faith Baptist once a month for Bible Study were sharing heartache.
Sick mommas and babies...it all seemed so overwhelming. We were supposed to study the Bible, but what could God possibly say to us when we seemed surrounded by trouble?
Enter: Chapter 25 of The Purpose Driven Life. We began to read aloud.
"God has a purpose behind every problem."
Jesus warned us that we would have problems in the world:
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -- John 16:33
So...we all must struggle a bit. Our struggles produce some of the most heart-felt prayers we will ever utter.
We learn things about God in the dark depths of despair. We learn He can take our anger. We learn He is there even when we don't feel it.
Most importantly, we learn our suffering has meaning. God is working something out in us or others. Perhaps He is providing the platform on which we will reach people for the rest of our lives.
Suffering, in fact, is a great equalizer. Tears create a pool we will all swim in sooner or later. If you have not cried, you have not earned the right to share.
You'll never know that God is all you need until God is all you've got.
Knowing that God is working something out in you provides great purpose to trouble. Even death takes on meaning.
So many people have used death's heartache to create a legacy.
What will you do with your heartache?
Will you become bitter or better?
Romans 8:28 states:
"And we know that is all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Trouble can be transforming. We need to see what we can do with the shredded pieces of calamity. Perhaps we'll create a work of art.
One thing we will be sure of: We will be forever approachable because we've been broken. People are attracted by shared pain. It opens up incredible opportunities to share Christ.
This weekend has brought the death of two precious teens. I have to admit, I am perplexed. I am sad.
I know those parents, friends and family, feel a pain that runs so deep only God can reach it. And reach it, He will.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." -- Psalm 34:18
Trouble will inevitably come to my house.
The visit may be unwelcome, but God grant me the grace to make it meaningful.