Recycle Your Pain

Recycle Your Pain

Have you ever wondered why God allows us to go through such pain? Isn’t He a loving God? There are certainly many reasons for pain that we will never know, but John Baker, founder of Celebrate Recovery and author of ‘Life’s Healing Choices’, provides four truths to help us understand.

1. God gave us free will. God gave each of us the right to choose. He created us in His image, and since God made many choices at the beginning of Creation, we also were made with the ability to choose. We can choose good things or bad things. We can choose to live for God or choose to live for ourselves. Every choice we make has a consequence. It’s important to remember that if God gives us the right to choose, He also gives that right to others. So when others choose to do wrong it affects the people around them. Often we reap the pain of others’ bad choices. God could have stopped it but, if he took away their right to choose, He would also have to take away ours.

2. Pain gets our attention. Our pain is not the problem. Anxiety, fear and depression are not the problem. They are simply red flags telling us something is wrong. Much like the internal pain of a heart attack captures our attention, without it, we may never know something is wrong.

3. Pain teaches us to depend on God. When our lives fall apart, and we have no one to help us, no resource to lean on, no strength left to fight, that’s when we can see God is our only hope. John Baker says it this way, “You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.” Without pain and problems, we would never learn to lean on God.

4. Pain is used by God to give us a ministry to others. Once we experience pain, we are more sympathetic and sensitive to those around us who are going through pain. We are also more humble after having gone through our pain. Pain prepares us to learn to trust God through the pain and in turn, He comforts and helps us. II Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Use your pain to help others by sharing your experiences. Let people know how God helped you so they can find hope and comfort. The more we share about our pain and the help God has given us, the less power our pain has over us. God does not waste a hurt. He wants to recycle the pain in your life to help others.

(Taken and adapted from ‘Life’s Healing Choices,’ by John Baker; 2007)

By Karen Grotler

Finding God

Finding God



I was weary from the monotony, full of exhaustion and feeling empty. All of a sudden, I was at the end of my rope and it was hard to pinpoint exactly how I had gotten there. I didn’t know what I was searching for or where I was going. But slowly, I began realizing my answer had been there all along.

That season of exasperation developed within a year of becoming a mother. Too many sleepless nights and working a full time job outside the home had forced me to the end of my rope rather quickly. By the time my son was 4 months old, I found myself unable to cope with anything life presented me. I felt helpless, hopeless and all alone. I felt like the world was caving in on me and I was screaming for help, but no one could hear me.

For the next few months, I was on auto-pilot. I did what had to be done and put one foot in front of the other, but I wasn’t living. I felt so overwhelmed and I just wanted someone to rescue me from my torment. Having been a Christian since childhood, I was unsure of why I felt this way since I thought I knew God. It wasn’t until I finally opened my heart to Him during a Sunday morning church service that I began to find hope in my situation.

Looking back, I can identify the ways that I hadn’t been relying on God throughout that tumultuous season of life. And it dawned on me — I had never learned how to rely on God, despite growing up in church and being surrounded by God’s Truth. Never before had I been made so painfully aware of my true need for Him. What I have since realized is:

  • I didn’t know God, I knew of Him. (Col. 1:10, Titus 1:16)
  • I didn’t fear God, I feared man. (Luke 12:5, 2 Cor. 7:1)
  • I didn’t see my need for God, I was self-sufficient. (Rom. 3:23, 1 Tim. 6:17)

Although I had confessed that Jesus was my Savior, the storms of life proved that I wasn’t living like he was my Savior. Slowly, I prioritized my life by putting God first in both my thoughts and actions. As I made changes, I found that He was lifting me out of my deep, dark pit and it wasn’t long before I could see the light again. I see now that God had been waiting patiently for me to depend on Him while I stubbornly tried to find my own way. I’m thankful God used the circumstances of my life to bring about change in my heart.

Do you find yourself feeling broken, uncertain or alone in this season of life? How deep into the darkness will you go before letting God prove He’s the only one you need? I pray you find He is the source of your strength.

By Danielle Harmon