I came upon a scripture today that really got me thinking. It was a verse that I didn’t remember, even though I know that this wasn’t my first time reading it. For some reason, today was the first time that it really sunk in and made an impression.
Here’s what I read:
“Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart.” – Proverbs 20:30
I read this and my initial thought was, “Ouch. I don’t like that.” I wanted to turn the page of my Bible and read something else, but something (or rather Someone) deep within wouldn’t let me. So, I read the verse again. Then I waited. . . Faithful as always, Revelation showed up to shed some light and give me a new perspective.
It’s no huge surprise that I didn’t like what I read. Nobody wants to get hurt; and nobody enjoys being in pain. In fact, most of us do our best to avoid it, if possible. Even so, we all experience things that result in hurt, and we all deal with our pain in different ways. I think it’s likely that the reason I couldn’t remember ever having read this verse before, is because I didn’t want to think about my pain – so I moved on as quickly as I’d read it. Fortunately, this time was different.
You see, it’s in those moments when we’re experiencing the sting of our deepest wounds that God can cleanse us of our own hidden darkness – of the evil that lurks within the corners of our own hearts. I’m not saying that God causes us to be in pain; but rather, that our pain can become a tool in His hands. Consequently, pain isn’t really the point here. God is the point. He is faithful to never leave us or forsake us. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18. He’s always with us, even in our darkest hour.
It’s important to draw near to God when you experience pain. You may feel like running and hiding. Instead, just lean into Him and allow Him to do a deep work in you. Don’t fight it. Surrender to Him. His hands are the safest place that you could ever be.
When pain becomes a tool in the hands of God, the inevitable end result is transformation. I find this truth to be extremely encouraging. Don’t you? It’s great news!