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I recently saw an interview with Pastor Rick Warren, author of the “Purpose Driven Life”.  Even though it’s now been a few weeks ago, he said one thing in that interview that has stayed with me –

“God never wastes a hurt.”

If we breathe, if we live, at some point, we are going to hurt.  Everyone goes through trials in life.  There’s no avoiding it.  I don’t believe that anyone is spared of life’s painful events, and while I may not understand it or even like it, I have come to believe through my own trials that nothing in our lives is ever a mistake.

Every hurt, every trial happens for a reason.  There is always something to be learned and something to be gained, or someone else to inspire from the trials of life.  God uses the hurts in our life to help us grow in faith or to help others. Trails are used to educate, strengthen and grow us and/or others around us.  Normally it is in these hurts that we learn to trust Him and where we experience the most growth.

While God will never waste a hurt we certainly can and often do.  In times of great pain, we often look to God for understanding and answers.  We question God’s reasoning while grappling with our own emotions,  asking “why me?”  Instead of choosing to learn and grow from the experience, we often choose instead to become bitter, allowing a trial of life to overtake us, allowing the negative events to consume us and keep us in the role of a victim instead of asking how might this be used for my good.

I’m not saying that horrific things like the death of a child, cancer or rape is something that can easily be just dealt with.  There are many things in my life that have happened to me that I am still learning to forgive and heal.  While it’s often hard to not run or escape from the pain we are called to remain in it and heal through it.  I am learning that only by surrendering them to God to use as He sees fit, is the only way I can truly heal and move on with my life, and when I’m not honest about the reality of my life, pretending to  be alright when I’m really not I waste God’s offer of peace and opportunities to share with others walking a similar path.  When I try to heal my wounds of my own strength, I waste God’s offer of power.  It’s truly when I let God in that miracles start to happen.

As I look back on my own life I realize all the hurt and pain I have gone through has led me to who I am today.  This very moment, if God had taken away even on hurt or pain, then my life would be so different today.  For better or worse I simply choose to trust that God has protected me, changed the course of my life as He saw fit.  I am thankful for every hurt and every pain simply because they led me to be the person I am today.

We must remember that God is working even in our darkest hours, in our deepest pains, in the struggles we surrender to God; we will grow, we can allow it to become a gift to us, we will be strengthened and your struggle may just help someone else who needs to know that they are not alone in what they are going through.  If God never wastes a hurt, why should we?

There is always a blessing waiting once the ache and fear and grief have settled.  There is something indestructible at the center of each of us; though the pain of being transformed and rearranged while still alive often feels unbearable.

I’d love to hear your story.  How has pain produced positive things in your life or the lives of others?

 “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.” ― Orson F. Whitney