Gift for growing or burden to bear?

By Dave Henning / June 2, 2021

“We’ve all been hurt by life in some form or fashion: no one is immune from suffering.  But rather than view the pain as our burden to bear, what if we considered it a gift for growing?  Healing on the other side of heartbreak is not simply returning to how we were before the rending, but becoming better that we would have been without it.”- Sharon Jaynes

In Chapter 12 (“Lens One or Lens Two?  Which Is Better?”) of When You Don’t Like Your Story, Sharon Jaynes notes that we all have parts of our story that we’d like to rewrite.  But, Sharon suggests, maybe you just need to reread some parts of your story through a different lens.  Would you see a better story if you simply flipped down a different lens?

For example, the apostle Paul didn’t see himself as stuck in prison because of Jesus.  Rather, Paul viewed himself as stationed in prison for Jesus.  In addition, Sharon looks at Paul as the master of lens-flipping.  In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul wrote:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Furthermore, in a sermon titled ‘It’s a No Go,’ Pastor Steven Furtick talked about Paul’s prison perspective.  Paul knew that, regardless of how he got somewhere, God placed him there:

“That’s a way of seeing life that will set you free . . . to decide in advance, wherever I end up, that must be where God has me. . . .  When the situation is out of my control, it’s not out of God’s hands.

In conclusion, Sharon asks you to think about titles you’ve given to some of your darkest chapters.  Next, write down those titles.  Finally, go back and view those chapters through the lens of God’s sovereign truth and unfailing love.  Do yo need to change some of the chapter titles?  As a result, Sharon asks:

“Lens one or lens two?  Which one is better?  The lens of God’s perfect love will always give us a clearer perspective.  It is through that lens that we can give our stories a better title.”

Today’s question: Do you see pain as a gift for growing or a burden to bear?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Embrace the story God has given you”

About the author

Dave Henning

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