Life At Its Best: Move past pain into God's purpose

By Jim Graff
June 22, 2013 at 1:22 a.m.

Everyone experiences pain. No matter how it occurs or who causes it, it's unpleasant. And if it's not handled properly, it can keep us from moving forward.

Steve Jobs understood this truth well. As a baby, he was put up for adoption and taken in by a couple from California. From the start, they cared for him as their own.

He rarely even asked about his adoption or biological parents. To him, his adopted parents were his real parents, and he was confident they loved him.

But one day, Steve's confidence was shaken. He was on the playground with a friend and told him that he was adopted. His friend's response shook Steve to the core. He told Steve that "adoption is for kids who are unwanted."

In that moment Steve felt embarrassed and ashamed. When he got home, he ran to his parents' room. With tears in his eyes, he told them what his friend had said.

His parents sat Steve down and had a strong talk with him. His father said, "Steve, you're not unwanted. You were chosen for a purpose, and we love you."

When Steve heard those words, something changed inside of him. It was a defining moment in his life. It was then that he realized that he had a great purpose and a father who believed in him.

But he also knew that moving forward would require addressing past pain. He did, and as we all know, he went on to completely revolutionize the technology industry.

God wants each and every one of us to have a defining moment like this. He wants us to know that we have a Father that chose us for a purpose and loves us unconditionally. He wants to heal our hearts, helping us to move past our pain and into His purpose.

Like Steve, experiencing healing starts with identifying our source of pain. This requires getting real with ourselves and with God about things that have hurt us.

For most, this sounds a little uncomfortable. We'd rather ignore or suppress our pain in hopes that it will just disappear. But that's just a temporary fix.

True healing begins only when we become completely vulnerable before God. So ask him to open your eyes to things that have scarred your heart. Allow him to help you identify and overcome the things that have brought pain.

Then, the healing process continues as we consistently make right choices. Matthew 12:33 says, "A tree is identified by its fruit." When God begins healing our pain, it should be evident by the choices we make. That doesn't mean we'll be perfect. But we should constantly be making progress.

We must strive to let God's word, not our emotions, dictate our decisions. Ask Him for strength. Form relationships that encourage you to move forward. As you do, you'll begin moving past the hurt and into the healed life God has for you.

How is past pain affecting your life? I encourage you not to ignore it. Instead, identify it. Get real with God. Let His word guide your decisions. Begin His process of healing today.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.



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