I am a bow on your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break?
— Nikos Kazantzakis
It’s flu season. Which means, technically, I should be a responsible citizen and go get a flu shot. I hate shots. I’m not sure where this irrational fear and hatred of a tiny needle came from, but nonetheless, it’s there.
What I’ve learned, is that sometimes the things that can cause us pain are absolutely necessary for our good. If I’m honest, for a while I think that I avoided this idea out of my own selfish theology — thinking that when God said He does everything for His glory and our good, that it meant life would be perfect as long as I did everything the “right” way.
There’s a lot of pain we experience because we have a real spiritual enemy, who wants to take us out and to steal, kill, and destroy. But I am slowly but surely growing more okay with the idea there is some pain, the good kind of pain, the growing kind of pain, that comes from our Heavenly Father. It’s not pain to hurt us, but to heal us — like a flu shot.
I don’t ever want to downplay the significance of emotional and physical struggles, but sometimes I wonder if the anxiety, depression, and loneliness we sometimes come in contact with are pathways in which we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Sometimes I wonder if He will allow us to go through something painful to hear His voice even clearer, and to learn to depend on Christ alone.
I say all of this to encourage you, dear friend. If today you’re facing some sort of opposition, or maybe feeling uneasy of where you are, I pray you will lean in and discover that potentially, the reason might be that you are in fact right in the middle of where God wants you.
I want to leave you with a quote from Jennie Allen’s book Anything:
“Somewhere in my life I picked up the idea that if things did not feel right or fall perfectly into place, God was not in them. I thought obeying God should feel pretty easy and convenient. For instance, if God was calling you to Africa, then he would have a buyer for your house in two weeks; and if not, then he likely isn’t in it….All my life I thought I had God’s stamp of approval because my life wasn’t going badly. Now I was faced with the fear that it might actually be the opposite. What if my life was going so beautifully because I wasn’t chasing after God?”