2009 – Day 150.May 31 – From Hurting To Usefulness
Passage of the Day: 1st Kings 17: 2 - 6 … 2 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” … 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
My Journal for Today: Sometimes we see what is happening in our lives – our circumstances – and the old “WHY” question bubbles up. However, if we truly believe the truth of Romans 8: 28 [and I really hope you have that one memorized], we may often have to be overcoming the urge to ask, “What’s with this deal, Lord?” God’s ways are just baffling at times; but they are HIS ways, and we need to be ready to accept them and grow in the circumstances, rather than dive into a hole of self-pity. Rather than asking “Why?” in the midst of our pain, we need to be asking “WHAT, Lord, do You want me to learn from this so that I can serve You more effectively?”
As Swindoll points out in his devotional entry for today, it might have been logical, by human ways of doing things, to leave Elijah there in Ahab’s court, confronting and making life miserable for the ungodly king. But no, God sends Elijah off into some cloistered setting to be tested and prepared by God for some unknown future duties for God’s glory. Apparently Elijah needed some in-service training in humility and patience. And oh do I identify with that! It’s so easy to fall into the trap and ask God, “Lord, why do I need to hurt the way I am; … can’t we just get to what You need for me to do without the pain?”
And Swindoll quotes the famous Christian writer, A.W. Tozer, who once said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” And to this Swindoll adds his own words of wisdom, writing, “… the deeper the hurt, the greater the usefulness.” And I certainly agree with these wise thinkers … though I guess I’d still rather be the exception to that rule. … ;>)
However, earlier in the year, we examined the lives of Moses and King David; and both of them had to go through a season of pain and suffering to learn that sin has great and deeply painful consequences in life; and due to this humility training, as well as God’s training in patience, these men were used mightily by God and most certainly for God’s glory.
So, my dear friend, if you are going through or have gone through some painful circumstances, which may have been illogical in your eyes, be lifted up by the lives of these hall-of-famers of the faith (see Hebrews 11 - linked for your study), all of whom had to be hurt to become useful to God.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I understand it; … I hate it, but I understand it! And even though it may be painful, do what You must so that I can be used for Your glory. Amen