While reflecting on my current situation, I thought about a comment C.S. Lewis made in his book "The Problem with Pain." He writes: "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." How well I can identify with this statement. When things are going well, we may hear that whisper of the Lord reminding us to follow Him, but we put it to one side since we are in "control". Then, we hear Him speak to our conscience. We know what He is saying, but again, we may choose not to listen. Finally, when we fall into the moral or physical pain which comes as a consequence of our lifestyle, we suddenly can hear God speaking loudly over the megaphone of His Word. He has roused us. Unfortunately, some people only run to God when they are in pain. He is like a life preserver for them to be used only when they are drowning. Otherwise, these same souls rarely think of God if things are going well for them.
God calls us to respond to Him when He speaks the first time in a still small voice. He doesn't want us to wait until the pain of disobedience comes knocking on our door. Further, His Holy Spirit is given not only as a seal and promise of our salvation, but also as a guide, teacher, comforter to direct our steps. We can live our lives in victory each day or choose to run our own show until the pain of life drives us to Him again. Hebrews 3:15 says it well: "As has just been said, 'Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.'" We need to hear and respond to His call the first time if we really want to avoid pain.
Pain is a useful tool in the hand of God. It certainly gets our attention, and often causes us to run to His arms. However, we also have to learn from the pain we have as well. If we brought it on by our own reckless behavior, then we need to humbly seek God's wisdom and forgiveness so the lesson will be learned and not repeated. Years ago, we told our children that if they did a good job cleaning the first time, they would not have to repeat the chore. After several times of repeating the chore, they eventually got the message and did it correctly the first time. We are no different. We need to learn from our pain so we are not doomed to repeat it.
In the future, I know I have to learn to pace myself when doing work. It doesn't all have to be done at once. If I choose to ignore God's direction in caring for my body, then, I will certainly enjoy more pain. We can either change when He whispers, respond when He speaks to our conscience, or suffer when He shouts through our pain. The choice is ours. Jesus Christ came to set us free from sin and death. Therefore, let us live each day by listening to His voice as He guides us that we may not come again into pain and suffering of sin. Selah!
I welcome your thoughts here. We all experience pain. How has God used it in your life?