Let Pain Do Its Full Work in You

I don’t often just read the Bible during study. There’s too much conversation going on for simple reading. I’m too busy praying to God and preaching to myself to just scan over the words. I’m not super-spiritual; reading Scripture’s just not a quiet endeavor. You read it, and the words dig their way down deep.

Thanks to Mark Driscoll, I no longer have to worry about that sounding weird. (Now it’s only weird when someone comes in and catches me.)

Recently, I’ve been actively conversing with Lamentations, a book I’ve often avoided. After all, it’s not exactly a pep rally to go. Any book where the narrator says God makes him eat dirt doesn’t exactly land on the must-read list. We’d rather focus on the “joy comes in the morning” part and be done.

But we really can love this book—pain, face slaps, being buried alive, and all. You see, pain does a work in us; disappointment transforms. We don’t have to like it—Jeremiah didn’t—but we do have to remember that we’re not supposed to see things with our own eyes. We’re supposed to get a new identity in Christ and start from there.

That’s why Jeremiah can weep one moment and praise God the next. He knows that pain has to work through to completion and refine us. It sucks, but it’s worth it.

Argue with Lamentations for a few days. Get to know the God who knows what haunts you. The best part is that He knows how to grace you out of your pit.