Pain for Purpose

But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4 (NASB)

So these last few weeks in our church Pastor Jeff has been talking about Lazarus. It’s been a great series. Last night this was the key verse. It brought me back to the verses that God gave me when we found out about Eva, and that things might not be right with her. John 9:1-3 talks about the man who was blind from birth, and the disciples ask the question of Jesus, who sinned? This man, or his parents. Jesus in his amazing response points out to the guys that they are missing the point – neither the man, nor his parents sin has caused the blindness, but God’s power was going to be shown and He would get the glory.

One of my first questions regarding Eva centred around the thought that maybe something I had done had caused this gap in her brain to appear. I think a lot of parents can think like this. But as I have searched God on this He has constantly re-affirmed that it’s not my fault. A few weeks ago I had that same passage confirmed to me by another guy in the church, and now Pastor Jeff’s teaching on Lazarus is doing the same.

We want to think that God is going to magically lift us out of the rubbish that is going on in our lives and somehow set us back down into the perfect idealistic surroundings. The more I learn about God, the more I’m seeing that isn’t going to happen. When we look at characters in the Bible, God brings them through the hard times rather than out of the hard times. Joseph had to be thrown down a pit, sold, falsely accused, stuck in jail, forgotten about, before he ever reached the position God had for him. Noah had to build an ark that probably took between 50 – 100 years to build, listening to the abuse of all those around him, then jump onto that ark with 7 other people and a heap of animals, who lets be honest weren’t “potty trained”! Once the rain did stop he then had to wait a further period of time before the water began to subside and eventually he could set foot on dry ground. And lets not even start about Job ….

Life is a process, we have to journey through pain, but in doing that we follow a purpose. Initially, and even in the middle of it, this purpose isn’t always clear. We have a decision to make. Do we trust God, and choose to believe that He knows the beginning from the end, and will see us through, or do we throw in the towel?

The shortest verse in the English Bible is Jesus wept, and there are so many meanings to these two words. He wept because those around Him didn’t know the power that was contained in Him. He wept because He was fully God and yet fully man and so showed emotion and empathised with those around him. He wept because He knew that there was pain for a purpose.

Lazarus had to die, so that Jesus would be able to bring glory to God. What pain are you going through that God has a purpose in?

We watch as Eva displays God’s glory every day. Do I feel like bursting in to tears at random points in the day? Yes. Do I wonder if she is going to do all the things I would love for her to be able to do? Yes. Do I know that God has a purpose for her life. Yes. And this, above all else, is the most important thing. I can go through pain to know that she has a purpose. God rocks my world.

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