Thriving With Disabilities Part 3

For Part 1 click here.

For part 2 click here. 

 

God Doesn’t Want My Pain

Many times when we find ourselves in the midst of difficult circumstances, we make the wrong assumption that this all-powerful, holy and blameless God cannot be a part of our pain.

Pain is bad.

God is good.

How can both come together? Therefore, if I’m in a difficult challenge, I must have done something to cause my pain and until I do something to fix my “bad” He can’t bring in any of His “good.” 

Not so. 

Did you know that Paul (also known previously as “major bad boy Saul”) actually relates to pain and grace in the same passage to offer hope? Yes…hope! He unites the bad with the good! Look at what he wrote:

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me…For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT)

Paul is describing a physical “thorn” that is causing him pain so bad that he literally cried out to God to take away. I think we have all be here in “the bad” at one point or another.

Whether you are struggling to keep hearing-aids in a young child… 

Walking the lonely road of cancer…

Dealing with a mental illness

Or supporting others through life altering challenges – 

Pain is pain!

You are allowed to feel desperate, angry, sad and confused! Paul can relate! We cry out to God for relief, healing and guidance, just like Paul went to bed hoping this pain would be taken away. We have been in Paul’s agonizing sandals here. 

Paul had an amazing relationship with God. Paul healed pain stricken people in the name of Jesus continually during his ministry…yet, God never healed Paul. 

Imagine getting this response from God, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness (YOUR weakness).” Empathetic? Rational? How would you react?

Before you start questioning God or Paul, have you prayerfully allowed your heart to soak in what grace really means? I think sometimes we get so comfortable throwing out “churchy” language, we too often fail to really stop and consider what the term means in our daily walk with God. Webster defines grace as: 

The free and unmerited favour of God shown towards man.

In other words, our invitation (in the midst of our questions and pain) to draw close to our Abba Daddy (Holy and blameless) on an intimate, daily, hour-by-hour, second by second basis is a pure demonstration of Gods grace to us. We don’t deserve to be close to such perfection, yet Abba chose us…pain included.

Paul is so ecstatic that this weakness enables others to see his pain so that they can find hope in the new life God has clearly demonstrated through his life. 

Paul still feels pain.

Paul is still required to do parts of his life differently because of his handicap.

Yet he is welcome fully and endlessly into the presence of a loving Abba Daddy on a continual basis. He no longer views himself as the world does. He only sees himself through Gods eyes.

How incredibly awesome would that be?

How would this look in your life today?

When we can see the purpose of our lives through His Truth, we can open up our pain to be used as His heart healing message to all. God can and does use our challenges to bring us closer to Him, but also as a testimony of His love on display through your life for all to see. In fact, God looks at us and sees great potential.

Abba whispers:

For YOU are My masterpiece. I created YOU anew in Christ Jesus, so YOU can do the good things Iplanned for YOU long ago. (based on Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

He planned for you friend, exactly like you are right this very second. YOU are what He wants. YOU are His masterpiece and it’s time to start acting like it. It’s time to shine. 

He sees you reading, taking your next breath and He longs to be with you. Like an artist who creates in anticipation for the revealing of his completed work, you are Gods perfect masterpiece through Christ. Wow…we are that loved!

 

Final part 4 coming up tomorrow

 

 

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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21 thoughts on “Thriving With Disabilities Part 3

  1. Awesome, Bethany! I often prayed for God to take away my pain but, like you, came to realize there is purpose in the pain and God is glorified in my life not despite but BECAUSE of my pain. I thank God every day for my pain, it has drawn me closer to Him, it has caused me to be a Prayer Warrior, and God has allowed me to share the JOY I have in HIm as I look to Him and not my challenges. I am really enjoying getting to know you as I have a cup of coffee and read your posts my friend!

    • Nancy –
      I love the joy in the midst of our circumstances! So many in our world cannot understand that happiness and joy are two completely different lifestyles. We may not be happy with our challenges, but through Christ, we can always have joy no matter what!

      …Got my coffee too 🙂

  2. Oh… I love discovering other writers who have walked with Jesus through significant pain. Wait – that sounds weird. 🙂 I’m not happy for your pain. But I AM happy when I can connect with those who’ve known Him intimately in the midst of pain. The way we’re marked by pain when we walk through it *with* Him – it’s sheer beauty. It’s the aroma of Christ. Sensing that here in your space today, friend. Blessings and grace to you today.

    • Dana –
      You crack me up! That’s not weird at all! I love reading blogs from other writers who have been through pain and can share their experience with His confidence. Thanks so much for visiting and bringing a smile to my face today!

  3. Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you. I have a yet-undiagnosed chronic health issue (similar to Crohn’s) and often get so frustrated that on top of everything else I have to feel yucky all the time. I often think of Paul (and William Wilberforce) and know that I am not alone!

  4. What a beautiful post. I often have to remind myself that God doesn’t create the pain but He doesn’t waste it and He’s right beside me in the midst of it.

  5. Yes, Bethany, happiness is a fleeting emotion, JOY is a state of being despite circumstances because we know the ONE who knows the bigger picture. We KNOW whose we are!

  6. Bethany, I admire your strength in living a beautiful life with pain, as well your vulnerability as you tell the world your story with such heart. I’m happy to have found your blog on 31 Days.

  7. Thank you for this reminder, Bethany! My husband suffers from a mental illness and chronic pain and often wonders why God made him this way or allows him to suffer. In pains me to see him struggle, but know God created him perfectly and lovingly and wonderfully. I want to show him this post to remind him that God has a plan and purpose for his life. That in his weakness he is made strong.

  8. Uniting the bad with the good is such an incredible way to see that passage from Paul! These insights about how much God loves us, through our pain and despite our actions as a result of pain, are so powerful, Bethany!

  9. This is really heart felt and rending. I know the truth behind the words because I am living them. I don’t face death, but face years of unending pain. God, however, knew what I was to face and He is here with me all the way. Thanks for the encouragement.