A Storm is ComingStorms tend to inflict pain; emotional, physical and mental pain. The pain of loss due to poor foundation (or poor anchor), or damage from a poorly built structure. The pain of watching a loved one suffer from poor decisions. The pain that comes with having something removed that doesn’t belong. This will be our pain; pain we will be blessed to share with someone in our spheres of influence.

Whatever the cause and nature of the pain, God has promised two things:

  1. He will be in it with us.
  2. He will work it to our good.

Or course, this is only true for those that are prepared to face the pain with faith and courage. I recently learned this lesson while riding my bicycle.

At fifty-five, riding regularly ends with a lot of pain in the legs (no pain, no gain).  This time, the pain began less than one mile into the ride.  I had sensations in my left leg unlike any I have experienced.  It started in my knee and moved from there to my thigh and calf; almost like a double cramp.  It was weird.

My first thought was to turn back.  My second thought was the same.  However, I don’t get to ride much these days and the weather was perfect; so, I pressed on.  Eventually the pain subsided and I finished the ride as planned.

Like most of you, I have learned to ask the Lord, “What’s up with that?”, when something strange like this happens.  The answer I got back was:

“Pain will stop you… if you let it.”

This message was, in part, for my son Matthew.  He has chosen to pursue God wholeheartedly in the mission field of downtown Atlanta, serving with the Dream Center, as they train him for full-time missions. There are some things he will have to leave behind to pursue the desire God has promised to give him.  Dying to self is a painful process.

The message is also for me and you.  The days ahead promise to be painful in one way or another, as our houses are tested and we are shaken (Hebrews 12:25-27). Furthermore, we are all being transformed into the image of the glory of the Lord, and transformation can be a painful process. Just ask the butterfly.

Whatever the pain, we must not let it stop us – stealing our adventure and the desire of our heart.  The Lord is leading us, under the Father’s protection, in step with the Holy Spirit.  The other side of our transformations will be glorious. We will know the Master’s pleasure.

Receive this encouragement: Find those that will encourage you through the pain; and find the one(s) you are to encourage. Find community and you will find courage. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. In your weakness, you are made strong.

Humbly yours and forever His,