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Your Pain Is for Your Progress
Series: Lessons Learned
Grab your Bible, and turn to Exodus 13:17-18.
Lord, I pray that today you would turn pain into praise and brokenness into a breakthrough! Encourage our hearts in your Word, and keep us alert to the deception and distractions of the enemy. We commit to persevere through trials and endure hardship like a champion.
I wish I liked to exercise. Truth is, I prefer a good pan of brownies instead. Any time the Lord leads me to fast, I try to fast from exercise. I don’t like to sweat, the Spandex pants, the bike that goes nowhere — I just don’t like anything about it.
Not long ago, I had my annual visit with the gynecologist (which I encourage you do every year). My doctor ran the routine tests and asked if I had experienced any changes during the past year. I told her, “Not really, except I’m a little more tired and don’t seem to have the energy I used to.” I’m accused of having one speed – wide open. She asked, “Have you been exercising?” In my head I’m thinking: Excuse me, didn’t you hear what I just said? I’m tired! So no, I’ve not been exercising ... because I am tired.
Quick note to the tired souls: If you are going to finish strong, you have to be strong. That means spiritually strong, physically strong ... strong in every way. So put down the pan of brownies, and break out the spandex pants. We know it’s true: No pain, no gain.
The Lord proved this to me through the process of having Jarrad’s wisdom teeth removed. When Jarrad was younger, he wore braces for about four years. The dentist told us we had to have the wisdom teeth removed, or they would mess up the progress that had already been made.
Flip that to the spiritual side of things and think on it.
By the time Jarrad was about 17, he had been a prodigal for several years. His attitude was stinky, and his actions were rebellious. The boy had been many shades of crazy by this point (more about that in Chapter 17). For weeks Jarrad complained about getting his wisdom teeth out. He protested that nobody else was having their wisdom teeth out, and he wasn’t going to make his kids have their wisdom teeth out ... because he was going to be nice to his kids. In his opinion, he thought his dad and I were sitting around thinking to ourselves, “What can we do to Jarrad, something really mean and hurtful? I know, let’s yank his wisdom teeth out! Yes, that’ll show him!” In reality, we intentionally scheduled a painful experience for his benefit.
The dreaded day came, and I took him to the oral surgeon’s office. They told me to come back and get him at noon. I told them I was coming back when he was 24. He was furious when I left. I went home and sta ...
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