The pain we experience in life is precious. God cares for you, so He will never waste your pain.
Greg and Sherry Stevens understand that truth. Their 13-year old daughter Cassie passed away on July 17, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. I knew Cassie only “from a distance.” She lived in Nevada and made summer visits to our church, North Pointe, to be with her grandparents. She was there when her grandfather, Richard, was baptized in water. Then there were the prayer times when she was hospitalized in California after the onset of brain cancer. Though distant, she was close to our hearts. Cassie passed away in July 2013 from cancer.
We believed and prayed together for a miracle that never came for Cassie. The miracle now is the comfort her family feels knowing that Cassie is safely home in heaven.
God shows up in ways to ensure pain doesn’t have to be wasted:
1. God cares for YOU. Whoever you are; whatever you’ve done, or haven’t done; whatever you are going through – God knows and cares. Pain can open your life to receive God’s care.
2. God is big enough to carry ALL your anxiety or fear. He invites you to throw all your anxiety on Him. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6,7 (NIV)
3. God responds when we swallow our pride or hurt and ask for His help.
4. God redeems your pain to empower you to be who He created you to be. Your darkest moment can lead to your greatest life message.
In the days following Cassie’s funeral, the Stevens met with Evelyn Kozak, North Pointe’s Grief Share co-ordinator. Evelyn shared her own heart-breaking experience of losing her 16 year old son in an accidental drowning. What Evelyn learned about grief and grace is pure gold. She knows God never wastes our pain. The Lord took the painful experience of Ev’s life and in a perfect moment allowed her to be the right person in the right place at right time for the Stevens family. Her experience with God’s help gave them them hope that one day, they too could help someone else through their pain.
“Whatever your cross,Whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine after the rain.
Perhaps you may stumble,
Perhaps even fall,
But God is always ready to answer your call.
He knows every heartache,
Sees every tear,
A word from His lips, can calm every fear.
Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, in dawn’s early light.
The Savior is waiting in Heaven above
To give you His grace, and send you His love.”
Don’t let your life to be limited to what only you can do yourself.
Do you let God lift you up to places and things that you could never otherwise reach.
QUESTION: How have you used your own painful experiences to care for others in pain?