To be broken – to struggle – to weep – to live in pain, emotionally or physically with no end in sight is an extremely difficult place to be. To lose friends – to be estranged from those we once held close and dear – is to know a pain from which nothing can bring relief. I know people who live there – and yet the fragrance of their lives, the compassion of their hearts and the effectiveness of their true ministry is way beyond what those of us who have never been there can experience. I use the word “can” advisedly – because I have become convinced that there is a depth of ministry that only the broken can reach.
None of us seek such brokenness – that would be unnatural – but through the pain of experience God can and does use our suffering to reveal the glory of his love, his compassion and his heart.
Richard Rohr writes –
“When religion cannot find a meaning for human suffering, human beings far too often become cynical, bitter, negative, and blaming. Healthy religion, almost without realizing it, shows us what to do with our pain, with the absurd, the tragic, the nonsensical, the unjust. If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”
So if you are suffering today – please take heart. There is meaning! God is close to you – he knows – he cares – and perhaps, perhaps he is preparing you to minister in a way that would never have been possible where you not facing the trial you face today. May he help us to transform the pain of our broken hearts for good and His glory!