Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The tool of pain

Tools are used to fix, tighten, and secure things. One of the tools God has been known to use in my life is the crowbar of pain. I use the imagery of a crowbar when refering to pain because it has a way of prying open my heart so that change can take place.

Last night, in my pursuit of reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation for the second time, I came to the threshold of the book of Job. In Eugene Peterson's version, The Message, he encapsulates the core message of Job in the introduction. I wanted to share his insights with you, in case pain has ever been or is currently being used as a tool in your life. Here are some excerpts:

"Job searchingly questioned and boldly protested his suffering. Indeed, he went "to the top" with his questions."

"As we get older we come to see that there is no real correlation between the amount of wrong we commit and the amount of pain we experience."

"Suffering is a mystery, and Job comes to respect the mystery."

"Sufferers attract fixers the way roadkills attract vultures." (in reference to the way Job's friends come to give him pad "churchy" answers for his suffering.)

"Job is not only a witness to the dignity of suffering and God's presence in our suffering but is also our primary biblical protest against religion that has been reduced to explanations or "answers."'

"Real faith is refined in the fires and the storms of pain."

"Instead of continuing to focus on preventing suffering...perhaps we should begin entering the suffering, participating insofar as we are able- entering the mystery and looking around for God."

"The mystery of God eclipses the darkness and the struggle."

"Realize that suffering calls our lives into question, not God's."

2 comments:

MOM said...

I love the comment that suffering calls OUR lives into question - not God's. that's terrific insight. Why is that our first reaction to say "why is God doing this to me?" God isn't really - we are reaching out for growth and should be reaching toward God. Conversely, if I'm NOT in pain, am I not growing?

sandy said...

Wow did I need to hear this in the midst of my suffering. Just layed the Bible down and said God I need some answers any answer not silence. Well I read the post on myspace and think hmmmm. Then BAM the answer comes farther down in the tool of pain.

Thanks

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