“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
What better person to pen these words than Corrie ten Boom since she was a survivor of World War II Nazi death camps. Her family helped many Jews escape Nazi Germany, but on February 28, 1944, they were all arrested for their crimes and shipped off to Scheveningen prison. Two of her family members-along with a nephew, were released immediately. One died 10 days later. Corrie and a remaining sister were shipped to another prison camp and then another where Corrie’s sister died on December 28, 1944. Before dying, she related to Corrie, “There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.” Twelve days later, Corrie was released.
Corrie ten Boom’s pain must have seemed everlasting and unbearable. Paul endured his share as well yet wrote, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (II Corinthians 4:17 NLT)
Pain is no respecter of persons. We all endure it. Some for shorter periods of time. Others seem to be afflicted their entire life with physical pain. And still others seem never to escape emotional battles and brokenness.
I’ve learned to accept painful episodes-regardless of their nature, as coming from God. Though he doesn’t send incidents that conflict with his nature, he at least allows them and uses them in some way for my good. My greatest life lessons have arrived through unpleasant affairs.
And as Paul relates, pain-whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, is temporary. It may appear to last forever, but God controls its duration. When I compare occurrences of tenderness with the joy and bliss of heaven, it’s much easier to endure.
How are you responding to your outbreaks of pain?
Prayer: Thank You merciful God for guiding us through our chapters of pain and also for giving us the assurance that when compared with eternity they will be light and temporary.