Pain and Hope
We may associate a painful experience with the Lord having left us. Poor Gospel preachers may even lead us there, but don’t believe it. Consider these three passages as you deal with your personal or family pain.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. (Lk. 1:38-39 NIV)
Of all the virgins in Israel, God had chosen Mary. He honored her to be the mother of the Lord. Her cousin Elizabeth recognized this honor, and even saw it conferred on herself when Mary visited.
“But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk. 1:43 NIVO)
Yet as the aged prophet Simeon held and blessed the baby Jesus, he prophesied about Mary,
“A sword will pierce your own soul too." (Lk. 2:35 NIVO)
The woman so blessed as to carry Jesus in her womb would also know deep sorrow at the loss of her firstborn son in death. Yes, we have the certainty of the resurrection, but don’t think for a moment that this took away a mother’s pain in the moment of loss.
The Lord has blessed my daughter to carry a very special baby. He honored her above all other women to be the mother of this particular baby. But a sword is piercing the hearts of mom and dad and their family. The baby may die or need immediate surgery. Tough decisions are ahead, and we need God’s guidance.
People in these situations often ask, “Why?” It’s the wrong question. Rather, ask, “What?” “What blessing is the Lord going to bring through this pain?”
The pain Mary experienced brought the blessing of a Savior for the world. What blessing will He bring through your pain?
My perspective as the Executive Director of Institutional Ministries allows me to know much about the lives of our staff. In every case, God has chosen wounded warriors, ones who understand pain and who have lived through it. The Lord has used their pain to groom them to minister with compassion to others in their pain.
I pray that today, God used my family’s pain to comfort you. May your relationship with the Savior lead you to the right question and to God’s answers in the Word as you struggle with your own pain.
To God be the glory!
Pastor Philip Henselin