Saturday, 5 January 2013

I have learned from C.S. Lewis that pain is not pain when we see the purpose in it. We also know that pain without purpose is paralyzing.
In India we have many educated unemployed youths in spite of the fact that a number of them have gone to work in Middle Eastern countries. Just assume that one of them came to me one day, when I was looking for someone to run an errand quite far away. Assume that no vehicles were allowed on the road that day (In India we call such days, ‘Hartal’). Now, suppose I wanted this young man to walk all the way, for six or seven hours at night, while heavy rains were pouring down, to collect an envelope containing some important documents. He would have to walk with an umbrella and flashlight all night.
The odds are that this young man would ask me why I had not asked him to go the previous day when he could have used a vehicle. Or he probably he would ask if the errand could wait until the next day. I respond that he must do as I ask: go and collect the envelope that very night.
Imagine him, walking in the dark, getting soaked in the rain, and cursing me. He might curse me even more if he stumbled into a ditch. He would be very upset if his sandal straps broke. He would consider that particular trip a real trial. He might even think I purposely allowed him to suffer.
Now assume that, before the young man left, I told him that, along with the envelope, he would be given a job offer, along with visa papers for him to go to one of the countries in the Persian Gulf. Now how will he react during that night trip? He probably won’t mind the troubles at all. He might even run all night. And if he hurts his foot, he will rub the pain away, thinking of the job waiting for him. If he breaks his sandal straps, he will only think of buying a better pair when he has the money.
The Bible says: “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later” (Romans 8:18). When you know you suffer for a purpose, your entire perspective is different. Remember, the central goal of our life is to glorify God. We cannot glorify God in our own strength. He must empower us by taking away our sinful nature, then giving us what He requires of us.

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