Pulling the plow?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is pain ever good? It may be good; but, when it doesn’t go away, does the “good” part, the sacrifice, wear pretty thin? Does God really use pain for our good? When God asks us to sacrifice for Him, will there be pain? And, if there is, will that pain be good?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

“Pain is good! Pain is good!” Prior to having both of my knees replaced several years ago, I would often winced as I walked down the road, my knees burning and aching, uttering those words. Arthritis had cut deeply into both knees and my morning walk had become an endurance contest. I had learned that little phrase back in High School running track. The coach would tell us that when your lungs filled with pain, just tell yourself that “Pain is good!” and you’ll be able to get a second wind. While that worked well for running track, it wasn’t working well for me as I limped toward home.

Pain may be good; but, when it doesn’t go away, the “good” part, the sacrifice, wears pretty thin. Does God really use pain for our good? When God asks us to sacrifice for Him, will there be pain? And, if there is, will that pain be good?

Here’s a story. Two wealthy Christians, a lawyer and a merchant, were traveling with a group that was going around the world. As they were visiting in Korea, they saw by the side of the road, a field in which an old man was pulling a crude plow and his wife held the plow handles and guided it. The lawyer was amused and took a snapshot of the scene. He turned to the missionary, who served as their interpreter and guide, and he said, “That’s a curious picture. I suppose they are very poor.” The guide replied, “Yes, that is the family of Chi Noue. When their place of worship was being built, they were eager to give something to it, but they had no money, so they sold their only ox and gave the money to the church. That is why they are pulling the plow themselves.” The men were silent for several moments. Then the businessman replied, “That must have been a real sacrifice.” The guide said, “They do not call it that. They thought it was fortunate that they had an ox to sell.” (Author unknown.)

When we’re moved to give more of ourselves even when it seems that we are left with less, God often uses the “more” to bless us and in ways that we can’t often see at first. In that sense, the “pain” of being separated from our possessions is “good.” When we see good fortune in unfortunate circumstances, the blessings of sacrifice will flood into our lives. The world may see only suffering and pain, but we have this hope tucked away in our hearts. The pain IS good; if we continue to sacrifice and do our best, we’ll get a second wind. We simply need to finish the race to find the blessing.

We pray. Father God, Healer, I ask you to meet every need of our spirits, minds, and bodies. We pray you give us the strength to endure and the trust to abide in you. We ask this for others who are dealing with chronic pain, and whose pain radiates to those who love them. We lift up all who suffer from chronic pain before your throne today. May they endure. May they know that in every pain there is a core of blessing that only you can give. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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