I recently saw the movie “I Can Only Imagine.” It is a wonderful story of God’s redemption. As one woman told the songwriter how much his lyrics had touched her life, she asked him how long it had taken him to write “I Can Only Imagine.” When he said he wrote it in twenty minutes, she replied that he didn’t write it in twenty minutes, but that it had taken him a lifetime. She said she couldn’t imagine how much he had to go through to give her that gift. As the story of this young man’s life unfolded, it was evident that his gift came at a great cost.
As I pondered those words, I realized that we all have gifts that God has given us to share with others. Some of those gifts come in the form of natural talent, while others are honed through pain, suffering, or loss. As I look back on my own childhood, I have often wondered why my circumstances were less than ideal. Why couldn’t I have been a minister’s daughter, or in a family of devout Christians? Yet, I now see that the gifts God entrusted me to share with others would not have been developed in an idyllic childhood. I wouldn’t have brought the same depth and understanding to my counseling and writing without experiencing my own hardships.
The same is true for you. I have friends who have experienced adversity in different ways than I have. I can’t give their gifts to others—but they can! You see, there is always purpose in the pain.
May we learn to not be bitter about the difficult circumstances that come into all of our lives in one form or another, but instead, allow God to use those experiences to make us a blessing to others.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)