As many of you know…A few years ago while on duty, a couple of guys tried to kill me and because of my injuries the doctors mandated that I retire in my law enforcement career as a Detective Sergeant and SWAT team member.
In one of my darkest seasons of depression, feelings of failure and difficulties involving PTSD a friend of mine came to me with an encouraging word that I will never forget. He said, “Aaron, one thing is for certain, God never wastes pain…”
At that time I had a lot of pain… both emotionally and physically as I spent several months in physical therapy and the next year on a psychiatrists couch trying to work through so many issues that at the time made no sense. But God is faithful!
It’s crazy how, as a pastor, having gone through my own pain has allowed me to better be able to relate with others… as I am now living proof that “ the most painful parts of your past can be the healing chapters for someone elses present…”
In my darkest hour is where Gods word proved most true when He says that “He works all things together for my good because I love him and am called according to his purpose”.
We all experience pain, some much worse than others… but the constant in all of our experiences is a loving God who cares about that which concerns each one of us individually.
Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this week, maybe a relationship just crumbled, maybe your job was just eliminated and you’re just not sure what to do and maybe like me someone tried to kill you… God is still God, His Word is still true… and HE IS FAITHFUL to help you through!
Many people will allow their pain to be the soil for bitterness to grow… and I think that for the great majority of us, this would be the natural response… However, there is another option…I’d like to issue a challenge to us all today to intentionally think differently and submit our lives and our pain to a loving God, knowing He cares for us and will take our hardest tests and work with us to mend them to be our greatest testimonies of His faithfulness and power in our lives… proverbs 3 says, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight…
Pain can make us bitter or pain can make us better, but where the rubber meets the road, the choice is ours. If we will give our pain to God and submit to the process of being bettered in it, I believe many times, our most painful experiences can also be the catalyst for our greatest growth.