Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
“It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly unless He has hurt Him deeply”
“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
-The Apostle Paul. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
There is a great mystery of life that has caused theologians, philosophers and everyday thinkers stumped and mystified; “If God is sovereign, and God is good, than why all the bad stuff?” I certainly don’t plan to answer that in a thorough manner in a 500-word blog post but one angle we will explore in a few short paragraphs is the simple reality that it’s in the pain that God develops the greatest compassion, the greatest resolve and the greatest character in His people. Another crass paraphrase would be to say; “The best roots (deepest, strongest) grow in the manure of life.”
I remember many areas of my life in which I have been severely judgmental of others (I admit, I’m a recovering Pharisee). One such area is the area of parenting. Of course I had it all figured out when my wife, Michelle, and I had no children. We knew exactly how we would discipline them, how many rules we would have and at one point I remember saying out loud; “Our kids will not act inappropriate in a grocery store.” Then we had 4 children…. payback is a cruel thing!!!
Now as I live through the pain and difficulty of raising 4 kids I have WAY more compassion, WAY more grace, and WAY more tolerance for kids in grocery stores. It’s hard for be to stare down at others when my 2 year old is SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS in the cereal aisle (PS- It’s always in that dang cereal aisle!!).
It’s the pain of difficulty that gives me grace, compassion and love for others. It’s because I’ve been put at mercy through tough stuff with my kids that I now have built commonality with others. It’s paradoxical and counter-intuitive but one of the reasons we suffer, struggle and live a life of “processional growth” is because pain is the mechanism to get us to live lives of brokenness, humility and dependence which we would never do without the hurt.
Why are you in all of the broken places you are at today (the addictions, the unhealthy cycles, the broken relationships)? You’ve probably played both the perpetrator and the victim at different times in your life. Each detail is probably too confusing to understand BUT you can understand this…THE HURT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE UNUSED! God can leverage it so you can have greater compassion, greater love and greater grace for those around you that need it today!
Maybe if you’re at an end of yourself today you’re at the beginning of a much greater version of life! Maybe the best version is just around the corner!
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About the Author:
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals. We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on September 18, 2015. Published on AddictionHope.com
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