In this episode, we are talking about pain and loss. It is an inevitable part of all of our lives. We want to try to give some perspective on pain and how it can actually be viewed as a grace. If you are in the middle of deep pain right now, I’m sure that the word “grace” is not on the tip of your tongue. We are so sorry that you are so heavy and burdened right now. We hope you can hear this and tuck it away for a day when the pain or trial has subsided. Or maybe it will help give perspective in the midst. That would be our hope.
You’ll see, in the stories we share today, that we have been through our own times of pain…trial…suffering…whatever you want to call it…difficult circumstances. We all go through times like this. Some of what we share today is from Alan’s book, An Unhurried Life, in a chapter titled, “Suffering: Unexpected Unhurrying.”
One of the first books that Elton Trueblood wrote was titled, “The Essence of Spiritual Religion.” You can think of Trueblood as sort of the “Dallas Willard” of the early and middle part of last century. Listen to what he says along the lines of our theme today:
“We know persons who have had new insights into the richness of life after the death of a much-loved child. We know many who have been struck by a loathsome disease and yet have so lived through the misery that the very disease has become an instrument of God’s grace. That is another way of saying it has become a sacrament. It is our task to oppose evil, but God, by His great mercy, is clearly able to lead us on to new heights by means of evil experiences if we are willing to open our lives to the divine influence. There is, then, a very deep sense in which anything at all can become an instrument for the enhancement of the life of the spirit.”
Anything that has happened in our lives, no matter how hurtful or even evil, can actually become prayer when we bring it to God. God can work in absolutely any situation to redeem, to heal, to restore, to “grace” our lives.
It’s our hope that you might find your way to bringing everything in your life, and especially those hurtful and broken places in your story into the presence of God’s grace. Be honest about how it hurts. See Jesus and his empathy for you as he himself suffers on the cross out of love for all of us.