“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:7, 8)
I’m studying the book of Job and as I was reading it this morning, a thought struck me—very simple, yet to me profound.
The word “Job” can be read one of two ways.
1) as a name: as in Job. “Job was a man who lived in Uz.” Job 1:1.
2) as a responsibility: as anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; work.
As I continue to study the book of Job, I continue to realize that Job was chosen by God for a specific “job (responsibility)”. Another thing that I came to realize is that God chose Job based upon Job’s relationship with God. “Job was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.” (Job 1:2).
Job’s relationship with God was key and very evident as Job endured each trial Satan sent his way. That solid relationship is even displayed throughout the conversations Job has with his “friends” who came to give their wisdom. Job had a solid understanding of God and no matter what happened to Job, He knew that God still was worthy of respect and honor.
Because of Job’s relationship with God, God was able to give Job a very special job (responsibility)—to show that God is worthy of honor, worship, glory, and praise not because of what God does or doesn’t do, but rather because of WHO God is.
Can there really be a godly purpose in the pain? In October 2000, I injured my back. As the days, months, and years went by with no relief from the pain, a commitment I made to God in College in 1982 became very real. I had told God that I would. . . .be whatever God wanted me to be—wherever– He wanted me to be. It wasn’t up to me to dictate to God what I’d be or where I was to carry out my job (or responsibility).
It’s humbling to know that God has allowed me to interact so many others, all from my daybed. I don’t have to travel around the world. I don’t have to be perfect and pain-free to be used by God. God has allowed me to be in pain so that I can accomplish the specific job (responsibility) He chose for me—sharing God’s amazing, unconditional love.
I don’t see my pain as a disability in fulfilling my God-given job (responsibility). Rather, I see my chronic pain as a tool to fulfill the task given me. God equipped me with the tool necessary so that I could do the job God wanted me to do! There is purpose in the pain — and pain fulfills a purpose! Pain as allowed me to meet people whom I never would have had contact if I wasn’t disabled. Pain has allowed me to have a greater understanding of what so many others endure on daily basis. And pain has taught me more about God and His amazing care and love for me.
Creating a positive day is about accepting the job (responsibility) God has planned for me—whatever that is, and where ever it may take me. Yes, there is a God-given purpose in the pain!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your constant love and care which you unconditional supply. Please help me to continue to share Your love with those with whom I have contact. Thank you for loving me and equipping me with the tools necessary to share Your love with others. Amen.
About the author:
Rhonda Sawtelle lives with chronic headaches and pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. Her philosophy is “Create a positive day!” She enjoys football, NASCAR, golf, digital scrapbooking, and reading. To read more about how Rhonda creates a positive day, even while living with pain, visit her blog: http://createapositiveday.blogspot.com.
How has your illness, disability, pain been used by God to share His love with others? How have you been able to find purpose in the pain that shows you God is at work?
Do you count it all joy? It’s hard when you are going through the pain, but could there be purpose in the pain? Oh yes! Sit back and listen to “Count it All Joy” by Bebe and Cece Winan. It is sure to inspire you today.