Eleven years ago, Roi Lene and I had sold our home in Cedar Falls and were in the process of moving our belongings out to our acreage south of Waterloo. We were moving things little by little in our pickup. I drove back to our old home in Cedar Falls to load some of the last few boxes that remained. It had rained just a sprinkle so I backed up into the driveway. I loaded the boxes and decided that rather than exiting out of the back of the pickup bed, I would hop over the side of the pickup and like a cat, land on my feet. I mean, “Come on, I’m a former football player and we are all agile, mobile and hostile.”

I placed my foot on top of the side of he pickup bed and gave a little hop. What I didn’t calculate was that the top of the pickup bed was wet and slippery. My foot slipped out from under me. People say that gravity works faster the older you get. The next thing I knew, I was waking up face down on the concrete driveway. I didn’t know how long I had been there. I struggled to my hands and knees and felt blood dripping from my forehead and nose. I stuck my tongue out and my lips felt like marshmallows. I had literally kissed the pavement.

No one escapes seasons of pain. Pain can be internal and sometimes external, emotional, or physical. Pain comes in all sorts and sizes.

Pain is something we all try to avoid. But the nature of pain is not always negative. There are important things that happen to people while they move through seasons of pain that can be extremely beneficial. Though God does not author our pain, He doesn’t waste it either.

Pain gets our attention and tells us there is something wrong. Depending on the extent and nature of our pain, it can lead us to inspect our priorities. We all have a tendency to get our priorities confused. As a Christian, it is one thing to say that our number one priority is our relationship with Christ. It is a far different thing to live with Christ at the center of our lives. We can say that our family is high on our priority list, but to live this out can be a challenge.

Pain can also expose areas of the hidden inner self and demands attention. After a season of pain life can be far better than it was before because we are weakened by pain and are more willing to cry out for help.

So what am I saying? I’m saying that our response to seasons of pain is crucial. Often times, God wants to do something wonderful for us as we walk with Him through times of pain and suffering. Jesus is not always willing to pluck us out of painful situations but can always be trusted to walk us through these times and will produce a “far greater weight of glory.” God never wastes your pain.