by M. Gay Hubbard
A client whose daughter had been murdered came to me for help in the early weeks of her grief and struggle. In her first appointment she noticed a Bible lying open on my desk and burst out in angry tears.
“Don’t read me Bible verses about praising God or verses that say God took Lindy because He wanted her with Him. I don’t want a therapist who will read me verses like that.”
“No. I won’t read you verses like that,” I told her gently. “I understand this is not the time for that.”
Our first hour together was clearly not the time for that. Nevertheless, rightly understood, and in the right time, James’s characteristic bluntness expresses a radically wonderful truth. God means for us through His grace to redeem our pain—to use it as a journey into joy and maturity. He means for us to be more than survivors; He means for us to be conquerors in every circumstance of life, however difficult that circumstance may be. No matter how terrible the events through which we must live, it is God’s intention for us to be transformed, not destroyed. Now that is good news.
However, we have a part in bringing about God’s remarkable intended outcome. Transformation is not a matter of heavenly magic. Neither is it solely the result of human will power. It is a mysterious joint project in which God invites us to participate. And invite is precisely what God does. While God desires our participation, He does not coerce. We discover that at the core of participation lies something far different from a blind obedience to rules. Participation is relational; it is a call to know God andthe fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). And it is this participation through relationship with Him t at changes our hearts, alters our view of the world, and transforms the outcome of our pain.
This excerpt was taken from More Than An Aspirin: A Christian Perspective on Pain and Suffering
©2009 by M. Gay Hubbard
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