And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. – Luke 15:14
In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis says that pain is God’s megaphone. Sometimes pain is God’s severe mercy to get our attention, bring us to our knees in repentance and faith, and draw us back to Him. It was God’s mercy that landed Little Brother in the pigpen, knee deep in manure.
What if his money had never run out and no famine had struck? He might have lived for his own pleasure the rest of his life and landed in hell. What if the prophet Jonah had succeeded in running away from the LORD? It was the LORD’s mercy that landed him in the smelly belly of a fish. The psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word… It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:67,71).
Have you experienced pain as God’s megaphone? Maybe your pain was the bitter fruit of your sinful choices. Maybe your suffering was not caused by your own sin. Either way, God used it to draw you to Him or to deepen your fellowship with Him.
Maybe you know others pursuing “the” good life apart from God. It seems to be working for them. It looks like they are thriving apart from God. Pray for them. If possible, maintain relationships with them. One day, pain will cast a shadow over their lives. You will want to be present and available to point them to Christ.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord for the way He uses pain redemptively as His megaphone. Ask Him for opportunities to point lost people in your life to Christ when they are in pain.
Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.