I missed church today. I didn't mean to, but when I saw a young friend crying I went over and wrapped my arms around her and took her to a place we could talk. She said her boyfriend had broken up with her and I could see that her heart was just shattered. I sat and listened to her share her story as the tears streamed down her face. My heart broke for her. I wanted to take away her pain and make her stop hurting.
But God was at work.
You see, it's easy to think that God doesn't want us to hurt but more often than not, there is a purpose to our pain. Some of the things I heard her say today:
"He's so perfect."
"I'm so stupid."
"I have no one now."
"I was lucky to have him."
None of those statements were true, but because of her pain, she believed them. Believed that she'd never find anyone else, that it was all her fault, that he was perfect. I could see God calling her back to Himself. Lots of things can get in the way of our relationship with God - things, desires...and people. She had put this guy on a pedestal and God, in His mercy, put a stop to it.
God should always come first and if He doesn't, then we have to adjust. It hurts though. When we have to give up something to go deeper in God, it can hurt. I felt for this young woman today because I used to be her. Crying over some doomed relationship, sure that my heart would never be whole again. But just as God was at work deep within me, He is at work deep within her - and you. We not only get to share in God's glory, but we also share in His sufferings.
The sufferings may be hard, but I know they are worth it. Because in the end, they make us more like Christ.
If you're in a hard place today, may God's love comfort you and bring you peace.