“But here’s my caution: don’t be so focused on getting out of difficult circumstances that you don’t get anything out of them. Sometimes the very circumstances we’re trying to change are the very circumstances God is using to change us. . . . listen carefully to what God is saying during the tough times (emphasis author’s).”- Mark Batterson
Mark Batterson continues Chapter 11 of Whisper as he talks about two overarching lessons learned from the story of Job:
- Let’s not pretend that pain doesn’t exist. As Pastor Batterson previously advised, don’t fake it to make it. In other words, it’s okay if you’re not okay! And admitting that represents the first step in the healing process. For when we fail to grieve, wounds remain open. We need the emotional antiseptic of grief to cleanse the wound.
- Let’s not explain the pain away with trite truisms. When Job’s friends kept their mouths shut, they provided the greatest comfort. So, when you feel pressured to say the right words, Mark advises that you say less and listen more. He adds: “You can say a lot by saying little.”
Furthermore, Mark stresses, when it appears as if God’s letting us down, He’s setting us up for something quite possibly beyond our ability to comprehend at that present moment. Thus, Pastor Batterson reminds us, faith is:
- weathering the storm, not flying above it
- trusting God’s heart even when we can’t see His hand
- understanding that, at times, the obstacle = the way
While pain’s part of the curse, God’s certainly able to redeem, recycle, and speak through that pain. No doubt, Mark notes, pain’s a difficult language to discern. But like every other language presented in Whisper, it’s a love language. Pastor Batterson concludes:
“The Word of God chose to die the most excruciatingly painful death to whisper His love to us loud and clear.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses shift your focus from getting out of difficult circumstances to getting something out of them? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Contending – harder than conceding”