“Sometimes the most gracious, merciful thing God could ever do is wound you. To wound you (and in that wound bind you to Himself), is far more gracious than to bless you with everything you want and have you not know Him” (Matt Chandler).
I read a book once called A Severe Mercy, about a man who lost his wife to cancer and all that God taught him through the process. I don’t for one second believe that God gave her cancer solely to teach him a lesson. I think that it’s the result of a fallen world and God’s sovereignty. I don’t begin to understand why God allows these things, but I trust that God is good and that God is great.
C. S. Lewis once said that pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. We typically don’t listen to God very well when all is well with our world. When we are flush with success, we forget God and think we did it all by our own might (and I think the Bible has something to say about that).
But trials and hardship are where we learn the most about God. They’re where we learn not just about God but also where our experience of God goes from theoretical and theological to intimate and personal. As much as we want those proverbial mountaintop moments of joy, the valley of dull drudgery and patient suffering is where we grow into who God made us to be.
Just as Jesus chose the nails and the cross, so He told us that if we want to follow Him, we have to take up the cross daily. We go where Jesus went, through death into life, through sorrow into joy. But the best part is that Jesus goes with us through all of it.
May we embrace these wounds given in mercy as they draw us closer to the One who was wounded that we might be healed.