Echoes From the Campfire

It occurred to me how fast things can change in a person’s life.”
              –Lou Bradshaw (One Man Standing)

    “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
              –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
If God is in charge, why do people suffer; why do I suffer?  It is important for us to gain a proper perspective on this matter.  Bottom line–sometimes we suffer because we deserve it.  Sometimes we do stupid things and then have to pay the consequences.
    Look at pain for a minute.  Oh my, do my legs hurt this morning; sometimes the pain is tremendous.  Three years ago I had a severe pain in my chest and had to be taken to the emergency room–heart attack.  See in that situation, pain was good.
         1)  All pain is not bad.  Pain is a warning of danger.  It is part of God’s warning system.  Pain tells us that something is wrong.
         2)  Pain now can bring about a greater good.  I had the pain in my heart, so they could find the problem and relieve the pain and keep me alive.
         3)  Pain is a great teacher.  That is true if we have done something stupid.
         4)  Pain is sometimes the result of the Lord disciplining us.  When I was a kid my aunt would spank me with a thin belt.  I didn’t mind it on the backside, but she figured that out and would then target the back of my legs.  The Lord sometimes has to take a “spiritual belt” to us.  (Oh, that surely is not popular today.)
         5)  Our loving heavenly Father knows there are some things more important than living a life without hurt.  Think of Jacob.  Wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, his hip was injured and he would feel that pain the rest of his life, but with that experience his life was changed forever.  Righteousness is more important and drawing closer to God is more important than living a life without hurt.
    I’m not saying pain is joyful, and that we shouldn’t pray for healing, but we also need to look at the larger picture.  Ponder these Scriptures:

         “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
                      –Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV)

I was reading and found this illustration.  A father, upon the death of his son, became very bitter.  He shouted to the pastor, “Where was your God when my son was killed?”  The pastor replied, “He was in the same place He was when His own Son was killed.”  God feels and understands our pain.