Tonight we're watching 20/20, it's one of those freaks-of-nature-for-our-entertainment shows, with a girl who has flipper-like legs and a family who inherits permanent insomnia. They're also featuring a couple of girls who have some kind of syndrome wherein they can't feel physical pain.
On the surface, this sounds like a cool deal, doesn't it?
But of course, these people suffer terrible effects from their disability. They burn themselves with hot water when doing the dishes, break their bones by mistake, and they both wore scars where, for instance, they bit their own lip off during their sleep, not even knowing they'd done it.
I had an epiphany lately, while driving to work- I was thinking about how thankful I am for the things God has taught me. It hit me that all that time that I was wanting God to take care of me through my pain and remove my suffering, He was teaching me. I thought He was being absent from me, but really He was walking with me through experiences that would make me into a wiser me.
Okay, I know this is simple stuff. I did not invent this concept, the strengthening through experience thing. But what was stunning to me was how my expectations of God's responsibility to me had been so way off all that time. I kept asking for what I wanted, and God steadfastly gave me what I needed. As nice as a pain-free life sounds, I know that pain has purpose- and I'm thankful for the pain that God walked me through.