I recently wrote about my story of pain and suffering due to a number of health issues that I have. Since 2013 I’ve struggled with constant chronic pain. Not only is the pain a problem but the effects that it continues to have on the rest of my body is not great. You could say that I’m quite used to pain, it has been a constant for a long time now.

But it wasn’t always like that, and my attitude hasn’t always been this way either.

Pain is a horrible thing that comes in many forms; it can be physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and more. But from personal experience, and the experience of many seasoned saints that I know, suffering and pain leaves us with 2 options; we let it push us away from God, or we let it make us run to God for strength and refuge.

I recently met up with a guy who found the post about my story of suffering. He read the post and identified with it because of his own ill health and we grabbed a drink together. We could have say there discussing medication plans and treatments, we could have spoken about specialists and the newest doctors, or we could have spent the time maiming about our pain.

However, I was very encouraged that the conversation very quickly turned to what we’d both learned about God through our pain. Pain and suffering is unpleasant, trust me I’m not going to argue against that, but often we can ‘waste it’ by seeing it as an inconvenience rather than a lesson.

Not every kind of pain is a lessen sent to teach us something special, but in every pain we can learn something.

My personal pain has taught me that I am not the strong individual I thought I was. It has caused me to be weak and vulnerable, something I’m not a huge fan of being. Do I want to be made while again? Yes, absolutely! But my hope is not in that, my hope is in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pain, in all its forms, is a part of life and a Christian’s response should be to run to God for help and strength. Our response shouldn’t be to try endure in our own strength but to rest and rely on the Lord’s enabling.

I don’t know your pain, I don’t know or understand what you’re going through, but please don’t waste it. In your suffering run to God, devour His Word, bring your worries and your fears to Him and be vulnerable. God is a mighty, all-powerful and great God but he is also our Father, Shepherd and Lord. God listens to the cries of His people, he can use the worst situations (in our eyes) to teach us something about Him and something about ourselves. We just need to be willing to learn. Therefore, we must be paying attention, we must be willing to endure suffering and to do it well for God’s Glory and we must be let our suffering make us run to God nor away from Him.

Pain and suffering is tough and horrible but don’t ‘waste it’ instead glorify God in it and point other people to His sustaining grace along the way!