Our guest blogger today is Bob Barrows – Bob is a counselor, pastor and friend. He leads an organization called, New Directions Life Management.
I have no doubt that it does. All of us will experience emotional or physical hurt in our lives we never anticipated. A story I came across recently reveals one of the keys to surviving our pain.
As the story goes, there once was a man who was sentenced to 25 years of backbreaking labor. His wrists were tied to the handle of a huge wheel that was inlaid in the wall. His job was to turn the wheel 10 hours a day. For years, day in and day out, the prisoner would wonder what he was doing with this wheel. What was the meaning of his work? What was on the other side of this wall? Was he grinding grain? Pulling up water? Moving some sort of conveyor belt? For 25 years he contemplated the meaning of his work, and for 25 years he spun that wheel. It was grueling, but he survived. When his sentence was complete he was released from prison. The first thing he did was run to the other side of the wall to see what he had been doing all this time. What did he see? Nothing! There was nothing attached to the wheel. Upon discovering there was no purpose to those many years of suffering the man collapsed to the ground, had a heart attack and died.
Do you see the key to surviving our pain? It’s in believing that despite all evidences to the contrary there is an ultimate purpose on the other side of our pain, a purpose that is being worked out even as we struggle. Job, a man in the Bible who experienced more loss and pain in his life than we can imagine, never knew the unseen story that was unfolding while he suffered. Satan had proposed a test to God, using Job as the guinea pig. Although Job passed the test God never let him in on what was behind the test. Yes, in the midst of his hurt he wondered why, but at some point he realized that through it all he had come to know God as never before. In the end, that was all the explanation he needed and in the end, all his hurt was transformed into beauty.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says in chapter 3 verse 11, “God has made everything beautiful in its time”. I believe that the degree to which you or those you love may be hurting right now can become the degree to which you will one day discover, unlike the man in our story, that there was a greater purpose behind the pain. Your hurt has meaning. Placed in God’s hands, it isn’t wasted. On the other side of the wall there is beauty, and what you are going through today is a necessary part of the ultimate story God is writing of your life. It promises to be a best seller, and it WILL end well, whether in this life or the next. “It hurts!” will be replaced by “It’s beautiful!”.
About the Author
Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners who never leave their side. Doug grew up in… Read More