Don’t Waste Your Pain

2005-03-2520painDon’t waste your pain. Some of you are immediately thinking, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t know what I’m going through.”  In most cases I don’t know what readers of this blog are going through, but this I do know: Life is peppered with all kinds of pain, and each of us will be touched by some kind of pain. While it is nice to confess, “Because I am a child of God, I shall live a pain-free life,” that is simply not reality.

I have no plans to preach or pontificate at this point. I simply want to say that pain can help us to become more loving and caring to others in pain.  Who can better comfort a widow, than one who has walked that path?  Who can better encourage a person with cancer, than one who has walked through a cancer battle?  The scripture says it this way,  “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”  – 2 Corinthians 1:3,4


  1. I refuse to waste my pain of child abuse.
  2. I refuse to waste my pain of being betrayed.
  3. I refuse to waste my pain of having a child with cancer.
  4. I refuse to waste my pain of Church hurt and disillusionment.
  5. I refuse to waste my pain of miscarriage.
  6. I refuse to waste my pain of a tear-stained face as I visit my son’s grave.

While I wish life was pain-free, it’s not! Loved ones die, tragedy visits, betrayal comes, but through it all, God is with us. He will bring us through it.  I can’t stop pain, but I can decide to use it to comfort others, to say God will bring you through this.

No, I can’t stop pain, but I refuse to waste it!

I Think I’ll Walk to Boston

IMG_2849 (2)I am the proud owner of a Fitbit pedometer.  One of my sons gave it to me a couple of years ago, and it is my faithful companion.   As I go to bed at night, I literally remove it and place it on the night stand, and then as soon as my feet hit the floor the next morning, back on it goes.  Each day of my life I am intentional about taking steps.  I have a goal of no less than 10,000 steps, and most days I make that.

Because I have the Fitbit synced with my computer, I receive progress reports.   I got my report for the year 2014 and was amazed at how far one can go by taking intentional steps.  Last year I walked more than two and one-half million steps, which translated to over eleven hundred miles.  The numbers would have been even higher except I lost my pedometer, and was without it for almost a month.   So, in 2014 I walked enough steps  to get to Boston, MA, Roswell, NM, Minneapolis, MN, and  a number of other places.

When I set out in 2014, I never knew how far I would go, but I purposed to get up every day and intentionally take steps. Some days I made much progress, and some days I hardly made any progress. Yet, I kept walking, and it amazing how far I went.

How did I do this?

  1. I was intentional about my walk. Some days I did not want to walk – I was tired, lazy, sick, burned out or depressed, but I still intentionally kept walking.
  2. I did it one step at a time. If someone had said your goal is to walk to Boston this year, I would have been overwhelmed. Instead, I just got up and walked a step at a time.

This is exactly what it is like to walk with God. Victory and fulfillment in God, comes through learning to continue whether one feels like it or not, and we do it one step at time. Each step gets us farther down the road. As we keep walking, we will look back and say, “Wow, look how far God has brought me!” And even better, we will get to walk with the living God, and know His presence and power.

I love what is said of Enoch: And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters… Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away”. (Genesis 5:22, 24).

I want to so walk with God that I am literally taken away by Him, that I am no more, and He is reflected in me.

Today why don’t you pick up your spiritual pedometer, strap it on in the Spirit, and head out!


I Quit!

quitting-churchA member of a certain church, who had been attending services regularly for quite some time, stopped going all of a sudden. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to pay the man a visit. It was a very cold evening and when the pastor arrived at the man’s home he found him sitting alone before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed the pastor and led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace. The man then sat down in his own chair and waited for the pastor to speak. Settling himself in the chair, the pastor said nothing. In silence, he contemplated the flames dancing around the burning logs. Several minutes passed. Then, the pastor took a pair of fire tongs and carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it on one side of the hearth — all alone.

Again, the pastor settled silently in his chair. Without a word, the man watched. Before long, the one lone ember flickered and then with a final momentary glow, the flame went out. Soon the ember lay cold and dead on the hearth. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Glancing at his watch, the pastor realized it was time to leave. Slowly he stood up, and taking hold of the fire tongs, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately, it began to glow with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

At the door, the host clasped the pastor’s hand. With tears coursing down his cheeks, the host said, “Thank you, thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon! I will be back in church next Sunday.”

We live in a world today where, too often, people try to say too much with too little substance or worth — or say too little with too many words. Often, the end result is that no one listens. There are times when the best sermon is the one left unspoken.

They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42


Boot Camp? What Was I Thinking?

bootcampToday, my upper body is groaning whether my lower body joins in or not!  I am more than willing to hug my husband, if he is willing to lift my arms and put them around him.  The lower body will be singing its own song tomorrow.   I started a rough, tough, six-week boot camp. This is not for sissies! At age sixty-three, I’ve asked myself several times: what were you thinking?

For years, I have been very stagnant with my exercise routine, doing the same things over and over and over. While that might be better than nothing, it was not getting me stronger for life.

Facts about my boot camp:

  1. I prepaid the whole six weeks so I’d think twice about quitting. This is not one of those fifty dollars for six weeks camps. The price that was paid makes me want to grow stronger!
  2. I am way out of my comfort zone. Treadmills I know! Ellipticals I know! A few exercise machines I know! All of those have helped in my journey. Now, I’m doing things beyond what I did in the past. For example, I’m squatting while “battling” large ropes. I have to quickly flick my wrists and keep the long, thick rope making waves.  The crunch machine – ugh!  The only thing I have been crunching for the last few years is chips.  Did I say this is not for sissies? 
  3. I bought  new clothes to dress the part. I have worn sloppy clothes to the gym for a long time. I took the Christmas money I was gifted and bought new, sharp looking duds! I am dressed to succeed.
  4. I have to listen to the right voice. One says, “You don’t want to do this, and you don’t have to do this.” Another says, “You can do this. It’s time to stretch and grow.” My success depends on my willingness to listen to and act upon the right voice.
  5. My leader (trainer) coaches me to go beyond where I have been. If I am not in a correct position to do what it takes to build my muscles, he tells me to position myself. I don’t have to do what he says. I can smile at him, praise him, thank him and go home and feel I have grown. Not! I have to do what the coach tells me.

Boot camp is much like the spiritual walk:

  1. PAID-IN-FULL. A price was paid in advance for us to have victory in this life, and be a part of God’s great adventures.  The price alone should make us push forward. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. 
  2. Battle the ropes.  Some of us have not moved beyond where we were ten years ago. We are doing the same spiritual treadmill. While that might have gotten us to this point, it’s time to “battle” a few ropes and move out of the comfort zone.  What can you do differently?  Stretch that faith!
  3. Dress the part. Put on the whole armor of God listed in Ephesians 6. I don’t mean the oral ritual that so many do each day, but really study the armor and dress in its principles. We have worn sloppy spiritual clothes long enough!
  4. Listen to the right voice. Hearing God’s voice above all others is essential. The easiest way to do that is to get into His written Word. So much “untruth” is being preached and taught today. Find out what God says, and don’t pick and choose verses that say only what you want to hear. Study whole books of the Bible even if it takes you a year to go through one book.
  5. Do what God says! He might even have to tell us that we are not in a correct position to grow, and there needs to be a position change. We have listened to hundreds of sermons, gone to countless conferences and taken enough notes to fill whole books. Too often we smile, throw up our hands in praise, give thanks and then go home and lay the notebook down. It’s time to do what the coach says!

Ladies and gentlemen, I invite  you to join me in God’s boot camp.  God is gently coaching us out of our comfort zone into a faith zone.  We can stretch our faith or play it safe. I think I’ll get up off this chair and head to the ropes!  How about you?

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” 1 Timothy 4:15