Ruth’s troubled life helped give birth to Grace.

-Max Lucado

Humans have such a short sighted view of their lives. We suffer for a minute, a week, a year and we cry and moan. It hurts, it’s unfair, this isn’t love! It’s a wonder that God has patience for us when he can look down and see the whole picture and here we are, crying about a grain of sand  as we stand on a mile of beach.

After moving to a new city, Naomi’s husband passed away, leaving her with their two sons. But if that wasn’t bad enough, just as her heart is healing from the death of her husband, her two sons died as well, leaving her with nothing. With a bitter and angry heart, Naomi told her daughter in laws not to follow her back to Bethlehem: “The Lord’s hand has gone out against me.”

It would have been so easy for Naomi to become a crusty old woman, bitter and ugly towards the world because of what she had gone through. And maybe she did…we don’t know. But what if she had seen that because of her sons death, her daughter in law would marry Boaz and their great-grandchild would be King David? What if she had known that years down the road, because of the sorrow that she had to endure, the pain of losing her handsome boy, Jesus Christ would be brought into the world?

What if Ruth had stayed in Moab because that’s what made more sense? If she hadn’t left her family, if she hadn’t gone to Judah, if she hadn’t taken a chance…

Sometimes, probably most times, our pain seems pointless. Why would God want me to suffer like this?! Why would he possibly want my son to die, my disease to spread, my heart to break…But what if our pain wasn’t about us, it was about how it started the ball rolling for someone elses story? If Naomi hadn’t lost her family and Ruth hadn’t taken that chance to follow Naomi, the lineage of King David and Jesus wouldn’t have been started. What if our pain is the start of an incredible story of unbelievable Grace and miracles?

What if our pain isn’t about us?

It’s so easy, actually it comes naturally, to think that your pain is about you. It’s about your story, your bubble at that exact moment. But what if we trained our minds to remember that there is a bigger plan in place. Our lives are temporary, and everything happens for a reason. What if, every time we felt pain, we whispered “There is a plan, there is a reason, I can’t wait till God shows me the purpose for this”.

Our society has become so entitled that it’s hard to not think that way. But we aren’t actually owed anything! “Life isn’t fair” as my parents reminded me multiple times when I was a kid. You don’t deserve to be happy,  as nice as it would be to be happy all the time. You are here to bring Glory to God, to show the world his power and love and to win hearts for Heaven. If it takes a bit of pain for you to save a soul for eternity, it might just have to happen.

Your pain isn’t about you! It’s about bringing you, and possibly others, closer to God. It’s part of an already written story, that God has complete control of, and HE knows best. It might not make sense to you, it might be hard to go through, but if you lean on him and trust that he can carry you through, you’ll make it to the other side…and maybe even have a couple friends in tow.

 

 

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