Thursday, July 02, 2009

Grateful for God's Megaphone

In his book "Where is God When It Hurts", which I had read years ago and must have blogged about here already, Philip Yancey tries his hand on a topic previously touched upon marvelously by C.S. Lewis in "The Problem of Pain".

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."  --C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Expounding on this, Philip used the medical findings of Dr. Paul Brand who studied lepers for years to appreciate the value of the body's pain mechanism in pointing out to humans the areas where they are ailing, and thus, prevent further damage.

Philip's proposition is that pain is God's gift, for without pain to warn us of harmful and dangerous situations, we would all injure ourselves to death.

I woke up appreciating the pain that I felt strongly a few days ago, for it pointed out to me an ailing area of my life that, if left unattended, could have burned and used me up.  At first I was surprised at my response - for pain could have physical manifestations:  a real heaviness in the chest, difficulty breathing, recurring headaches - as well as mental dimensions: I have been distracted in my driving and almost collided with other vehicles for two days now.

I felt, surprisingly, that while I was being delivered the bad news, God was with me.  So it was with courage that I faced the verbal abuse.  I knew that my conscience was clear and the accusations were baseless, and in fact I could have argued my way to death, but I found myself exhausted emotionally.  I had no strength left to think, for the one who was hurling accusations was someone I knew and trusted.  

It happens to everyone, I told myself.  No one can ever know us fully.  We shouldn't put our trust in man, but in God.  So I let go.  Later on, the surface of the area where I was blackened and bruised hardened, and I felt a shield of anger envelop me and provide clarity.  Righteous anger is a gift, much like pain, for it showed me my convictions, as well as the other person's, and how starkly different they were in the first place.  Definitely time to move on, I thought.

When the anger melts, I know I will have to peer at the wound itself and open it up for further healing.  I am confident that God is sending me people who will be messengers of His love.  But it's my instincts that showed me lies from truth.  I am stronger than I initially thought.  Perhaps pain is not new to me.  Perhaps I have seen God's handiwork in challenging times like these over and over again.

I am in pain now but I am not alone.  I am grateful that God used His megaphone to wake me up from my blindness and deafness.  Such is the tender care and concern of The One in whom I trust.  It may take time, but as cliche as it sounds,  I know that God is with me, every single step of the way.

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