Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our Deepest Pain, God's Greatest Tool

When I was a little girl, only 10-years-old, my father was pastoring the 4th largest Baptist church in the state of Louisiana.  We had just moved to New Orleans and not long after my father had taken the pulpit at his new church, my world completely changed as I knew it.  Because of a combination of some poor choices made by the adults in my life, and some very personal things taking place between my mother and father, my church life and family life became a total wreck and source of devastation. 

As all of this was unraveling in our lives, I was still attending school at the church where my father pastored.  Unfortunately, some of the most hateful people in my life have been the very people I have sat next to on Sunday mornings.  As I played in the courtyard at recess during my 5th grade year, someone had strategically placed a very hateful note near my lunchbox, so that when I sat down to eat my lunch that day, I would read how much they hated my father and how he didn’t deserve to be in the position he was in as a pastor.

While the feelings of the person who left that note near my lunchbox that day may or may not have been justified, for a child to be caught in the crossfire, to have to pay for the consequences of the decisions of her father is not fair.  It is not right.  But it happens every day.  You see?  As adults, we sometimes don’t consider that our poor decisions will affect those around us.  But they do.  And the affects can last a lifetime. 
For me that painful moment as a 10-year-old girl, marked the beginning of a very long, and painful at times, journey with the Lord.  But it also marked the beginning of what I now see was the road to my purpose in this life - my destiny, my ministry, the reason for which my God created me.  See?  Only our God can use our deepest hurt and our most shame-filled moments for good and for His glory.
Are you at a place, yet, where you can see that God can AND wants to use the good AND the bad in your life?  I do not believe that He wills painful things to happen to His children, but I DO believe He can use them to create us into something beautiful.  That is just who He is.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
 -Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)