Pain = Purpose
“Saddle up your horses; we’ve got a trail to blaze. Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace.”
These are the epic opening lyrics to the corny Steven Curtis Chapman song entitled “The Great Adventure.” It’s cheesy and full of over-the-top backup vocals, but the lyrics still ring true – regardless of the hairstyle of lead singer.
The song says this:
Come on, get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long-faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for
Saddle up your horses; we’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other – this is The Great Adventure
This is so true. I love it! “A life like no other.” Doesn’t that sound good? It does to me. Today I feel like I live a Great Adventure-style life. A life so far past anything I could have ever dreamed I could live. And you know what? It has nothing to do with money, status or success and everything to do with fully accepting my purpose and my pain.
This is the life I believe we are all called to live! When we fully embrace grace and fully release our guilt, then we’re embarking on a great adventure that will take us to places we only dreamed we could experience. It will place us perfectly in the path of a stranger who needs just what we can offer. It will give us talents we can use so effortlessly people will think we’re part alien. When you find yourself in the middle of God’s great adventure of grace, you’ll feel like you’re dreaming a dream so pure and perfect it could only come from a perfect Creator.
The adventure of grace is where we belong. It fits around us like a perfectly stitched set of footie pajamas. You slide into it and life just seems to make sense around you. Ego and pride seem meaningless, worry and doubt seem like wastes of time, and the solitude you used to despise becomes a welcome home. When you step into the grace of Jesus Christ, the world begins to make a lot more sense. Your life begins to make more sense; your past begins to make more sense.
Your pain will begin to make more sense.
Yes. I said pain.
How can a great life – one that makes perfect sense, that is filled with meaningful and significant relationships, that basically fits like a glove – have anything to do with pain?
For starters, pain is a universal affliction no human is privileged enough to escape. Every person who has taken even a brief tour on this planet has experienced pain at some point, and until we pass away, we will continue to experience it. We cannot escape pain. We can’t run from it, pay it off, ignore it, move away from it, yell at it until it cowers in submission, shop it away, drink it away, snort it away, eat it away, or push it away. Pain hits all of us. For most people, it hits us hard, it hits us early, and it keeps on hitting.
But it doesn’t have to keep you bound forever. Pain can be made purposeful. Pain can be the fuel that God uses to initiate the rescuing of your lost dreams.
Over the past several years, as I’ve journeyed through my own personal battle with pain and walked alongside hundreds of others, I’ve seen a theme in those who find a way to overcome and those who don’t. For the latter, it sucks. I hate it. I can’t stand to see someone hurting and feel useless. I want to put my hands on their shoulders and just scream, It doesn’t have to be this way! There is hope! You can have your dreams back!
But for the former, the pathway to peace is a beautiful journey that starts with a powerful word that changes everything. Hope. Hope gives you the courage to claim your pain, stare your past in the eyes and refuse to allow it to determine your destiny any longer. When you put your Hope in Jesus you begin to realize that there is nothing you can’t overcome and no past mistake that He won’t use to fuel your future. God will use your past pain to become your perfect purpose.
Addiction can’t stop you
Depression won’t slow you down
Anger begins to slip away
Hurt becomes forgiveness
Resentments bring new opportunity for growth
Hurts fuel your progress
Pain becomes purpose
Pain is a common ailment for humans. But we don’t have to let it steal our dreams and God given purpose any more. Claim your pain for what it is: experience. Claim your strength in the one who will never fail: Jesus. And let the new found HOPE in your life begin to change everything!