WRITE: Devotionals, Out of the Dust: Don’t Waste Your Pain
During the many hours I spent interviewing Avis as I prepared to write her story, she gave me many pieces of wise advice. One of the best was this one: Don’t waste your pain. Today’s devotional from our book, Out of the Dust, explains it.
#5 Don’t Waste Your Pain
Scripture Reading: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5).
Thought: God wants to use everything, even our pain, for our good and His glory.
Excerpt, Out of the Dust: My dad, a World War II veteran, suffered from what we now know was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although he loved his family, his condition made our lives different than those of most kids, moving to a different town every few months.
Growing up with Dad made me realize that people can’t give you what they don’t have. His illness caused him to move in and out of a fantasy. Once I understood that, I could forgive him for all the jobs and moves. He gave us what he had – love, admiration, and a sense of family unity. When I think back, I remember his pride in our smallest accomplishments. He showed off my childish pictures even to strangers as though they were great works of art. He praised all of us kids for our accomplishments and instilled within us the confidence that we could do anything if only we tried.
At a young age, my brother George showed great mechanical ability. At only about eight years old, he took a lawnmower engine apart and put it back together. Dad beamed with pride. “Can you believe that boy?”
Today, there isn’t an engine George can’t diagnose and repair. He even serves in a ministry at his church that helps fix cars for widows and others who need help.
Too often we demand what we want from people even when they don’t have it to give. But only Jesus can fulfill all our expectations. When we love without condition, we free ourselves as well as others.
When I look back on my childhood, I remember the good. I love to tell people, “Don’t waste your pain.”
God hasn’t wasted a single bit of mine. Everywhere I go, I meet people who have suffered some of the same hard things I did. They trust me because they know I understand. That opens the door for me to share the same good news that helped bring me out of the dust. (Chapter 5)
Prayer: Savior, take the painful circumstances in my life and use them to shape my character. Make me more like you that I may love others with the love you have shown me.
Do you have a question, comment, or prayer request? Feel free to share it below or email me through the link at the top of the page. I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Download a free Kindle excerpt from Out of the Dust.
Read about Avis Goodhart and Go Ye Ministries.