The operative word is new.
Sometimes, when we’re in the midst of something painful, the last thing we think when we’re enduring it is that there could be a positive purpose for it. I’ve now come to realize through my own trials that they actually do serve a divine purpose. A new way to deal with that which causes us the deepest level of gut-wrenching pain is that within those afflictions lie the key to our own glorious God-given purpose, and the key to our greatest triumphs and reward.
Now, in science, Sir Isaac Newton may have defined it this way:
For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
Your Grandma might have said it this way –
There’s no testimony without a test!
And the Bible, this way –
There would have been no Resurrection without a crucifixion.
Each one of us has had our own set of wounds, whether emotion or physical. Yes, they hurt very deeply when they’re fresh, and we just can’t understand why we’re meant to suffer. But those wounds are by no means meant to “take us out”, destroy our souls with hatred and despair, or cause us to lose faith. They are only “the call” to which we’re meant to respond with the fulfillment of our purpose on earth. The bigger the wound, the greater the purpose: and the nature of that hurt directly relates to whatever your purpose is.
Take the rainbow. It’s one of the most beautiful natural occurrences we’ve seen. But we only experience the beauty of a rainbow after enduring some rain first, right? But get this: when does the rainbow actually emerge? When light shines through, and begins to “burn” the rain away. Painful for the rain, yes: but necessary for the rainbow.
No Rainbow Without Some Rain…
Today is the American National Holiday honoring the birth of one of the world’s greatest leaders, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He fought peacefully, yet powerfully, to drive mankind forward. His assassination was a painful gash upon the soul of America and the entire planet. But out of the tragedy of his death and the pain it caused is the opportunity for the rest of us to rise to the challenge of reconciling our world around race, freedom, and justice for all.
As we enter this brand new year, each new day gives us all the opportunity to make the world a better place: but it’s up to each us to do his part. So go and let your light shine throughout the earth. And the next time it rains in your life, look for the rainbow.
Genesis 9:13, Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 15:17, 58; 2 Corinthians 5:17, Revelation 21:1.
(Rainbow, seen on January 6th, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA. Image, copyright Karen Lascaris, 2016).