Who has been your greatest teacher?
Who has shaped you, enlightened you, given you wisdom, sown knowledge into the fertile soil of your mind?
Looking back over your life, if you were to give out an
“Outstanding Teacher Award”
Who would receive it?
As you think back, faces and names may be flooding your mind. Specific individuals and the things they’ve said or done are coming back in a fresh way. The sound of their voice or the touch of their hand may be rising to the surface as you recollect.
I have had many great teachers along the way. Many devoted individuals have sown into my life to mold and shape me into the woman I am today. However, as I look back and really dig in … I recognize that there’s one teacher I’ve overlooked.
This particular teacher has had more of an impact on my life than I ever thought possible, and to be honest, I have given this teacher far too little credit.
This teacher has a name. This teacher is one whom we’ve all met. You’ve had this teacher, too. We have all stepped through the doorway and into this teacher’s classroom probably more times than we can count and more times than we’d like to recall.
This teacher’s name is Pain.
I’m sure you’ve met him. I’m sure you’ve met her. She has certainly met you.
He has met you in your darkest moments. She has wrapped her arms around you and invited you to learn her lessons on more than one occasion. He has crept into your peaceful existence and taught you lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn … lessons you had no intention of learning … lessons, if you had a choice, would have chosen to ignore.
Pain is a powerful teacher.
I’d step out on a limb and say that pain has taught you more in your lifetime than any one person ever could. Pain has a way of getting to the heart of a matter … your heart. Pain has a way of peeling back the facade we’ve all constructed, as a layer of protection, to get right at your tendermost parts.
I’d venture to say that the lessons you’ve learned through pain have been the most deeply rooted. They are not easily forgotten. What we learn in the midst of pain tends to stick with us longer than the lessons we’ve learned in joy, or in moments of victory, success, or achievement. Those we learn through pain are ingrained … they’re tattooed … they become part of you.
Pain is a powerful teacher.
Pain has a way of shaping and shifting us in ways we needed … not wanted, but needed. Pain prunes us. Pain cuts away the excess, the lifeless, the toxic. Pain removes our security blankets. We then feel exposed and unprotected.
However, it’s in those moments that we grow the most. We learn the most. We hear and see more clearly than ever before. In those moments of pain, we have a choice to make … wallow in it and allow it to overwhelm us … OR … allow it to be the teacher it longs to be.
God allows us to go through circumstances that we cannot understand, despite our greatest efforts to analyze, synthesize, deconstruct and reconstruct. In those moments and seasons of pain we cannot fathom that God would allow it to happen to us. We feel this way because we know He’s a good, good Father. He loves us and sent His son to die for us. So, why would he allow us to endure pain? Why wouldn’t he step in and prevent it? A good dad would do that, right?
The pain is the proof that he loves you. The pain is the proof that he wants more than anything for you to grow and become more of who he created you to be. We fool ourselves into thinking that pain is our enemy. We think that if we are experiencing pain it’s an indicator that we’ve messed up or done something wrong. At times, that is the case. However, sometimes pain is a sign that you’re doing the RIGHT thing … that you’re on the RIGHT track, and you’re in the RIGHT place.
So, today, I challenge you to see your pain from a new perspective.
I’ve had to do this recently, and I’m telling you it’s not easy. It takes effort, and it doesn’t make sense all of the time … or most of the time. But, believe me, once you begin to see pain as your teacher and not a terrorist, you’ll open up a whole new realm of possibility in your life. You won’t be the same, and the circumstances you endure won’t either. And the best part is, as you continue to walk with God, he will HEAL your heart, and he will give you HIS perspective … and that makes ALL the difference! :)
I love you, and I’m praying for you,
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