Every Pain Repurposed for His Glory

By Tish Hedger

As my husband held down my three-month old son, I buckled the braces in place and locked in the bar. Asa had given up looking at me with those pleading eyes, and had resigned to screaming; maybe someone else would come to help.

If I’m not careful I could hate those braces. Hate them for making my son look at me with those confused, scared, and frustrated eyes. I could hate them because they make me feel helpless to stop the tears. I could hate the casts that had come before, that had held him from thigh to toes since he was six days old.

I work as fast as my hands will go and then I pick him up, and we cry together.

I wish I could snatch them away and burn them where they land. Demonstrating the certain fate of anything that hurts my child. But these are the moments that I have forgotten that by the pain will come the joy. Endurance now, means the joy of walking, running, and playing without a lifelong disability.

Pain is a funny thing. How I wish I could shield my baby from it all. But that would not be love.

In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Love sees the future. Love knows what is required. Love marks a sure course so that we may arrive safely home. This is what God did when he determined before the foundations of the earth that he would send his Son to die. Christ died on the cross taking on himself the punishment of sin and on the third day he rose from the dead defeating death, so that the sons and daughters of man might become the sons and daughters of God.

And I hope by thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home. – Come Thou Fount 

Christ's war cry is redemption. He will repurpose every pain.Christ’s war cry is redemption. In Christ every sorrow, every failing, every agony can be repurposed by his power for his name’s sake … and also for our own sake.

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

When the world asks us “Where does your help come from?” We will answer with a resounding “only Jesus.” And our suffering will be the stage where the faithfulness and truth of God play out.

So sisters, I wish I could know the stories behind your tears. I wish I could know the fears that swarm at your door today. But remember Christ. Remember hope. Remember Him who died so that our brokenness could light up the darkness with the truth of the gospel.

So for the next two and half years as I buckle those shoes I will let them remind me that every pain in this world can be repurposed by the power of God.

How have you seen pain be repurposed for good in your own life?

Published June 4, 2015

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Tish Hedger

Tish is a counselor at Emmaus Counseling in Kansas City. She is married to Joshua Hedger, pastor of Emmaus Church in Kansas City. They have a two-year-old son named Asa and an adopted 17-year-old daughter named Trisha. Tish writes for FTC, Flourish and Emmaus and speaks at women's conferences and retreats.
You can follow Tish's writing at her personal blog, on Flourish, and at For The Church.