"...pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." - C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain
When we speak of pain, one person from the Bible continually comes up. Job. He lost absolutely everything. It would have been so easy for him to curse God, to turn away and never look back, as Satan hoped he would. But he didn't. Instead, the pain that was meant to drive Job away from God, drove him closer to God.
I recently learned that my grandfather was a living example of Job. When he was faced with pain, he was driven closer to God. Him and Grandma lost a baby, Susan. She was born early and didn't make it. In those days, the doctors didn't even let you see the baby when things like this happened. They never even got to meet the child they had so eagerly anticipated. It was through this time that Grandma first saw a change in him - he started seeking God and becoming a different man. Then, awhile later, Grandma and my Uncle Tim were electrocuted and remained in the hospital for some time. Mom remembers him crying in the middle of the night, "God, I need you." He probably didn't understand why these things happened, but he knew where to turn - very much like Job.
The final days of Grandpa's life, my family and I stayed by his side. He knew what was coming and he was okay with it, in fact, I truly believe he was joyful. Although his body and mind kept him from fully communicating with us, I could see it in his face - after a horrid battle with Louie Body Dementia, he was finally at peace...he was finally going Home.
These words from Job 19 provide the words Grandpa couldn't speak out loud. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, his heart was screaming this proclamation:
25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
26 Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
27 Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!
In the face of pain, no matter what the cause, turn to God, not away from Him. Make that choice right now and see what a difference it will make.
Love you and miss you.