The pain of this world is an opportunity for us to be an instrument of God’s redemptive healing. Or said another way, we have the opportunity to be an ambassador for Christ in the midst of someone else’s pain.
Dr. James Stewart, the brilliant professor of the New Testament of Edinburgh, Scotland once made a hospital call. He went to the cancer ward of the hospital and as he walked in, he noticed the nurses and the doctors were all frazzled. Many of the interns had just had it. People had been dying, there was pain, there was suffering. And Dr. Stewart was invited to go to a meeting of the nurses and doctors. They called him because they wanted to ask for his pastoral wisdom. In this meeting there were doctors, nurses, and technicians who were groping for answers. And they asked Dr. Stewart:
“Why did God allow a 31-year-old woman, mother of three to die of cancer?” “Why did God allow a teenage boy to die of leukemia?” “Why is it Dr. Stewart? Why does God allow a little child to die at childbirth because a mother could not function because she had cancer?” “Why, why, why Dr. Stewart?” “Why does God do that?” “And Dr. Stewart what is God’s answer?” “What do we tell these people?” “Dr. Stewart, what is the answer?”
In four words, Dr. Stewart gave an answer that thundered down the corridors of the hospital when he whispered to all those doctors and nurses hanging on his every word, “YOU ARE GOD’S ANSWER. God has put you in this hospital right now today, for this moment so you might care for one of these children or one of these moms or one of these dads or one of these people waiting in the waiting room. God has given you arms and legs. He has given you mouths, ears, and eyes and touch. And a mind to think creatively in which to care. YOU ARE GOD’S ANSWER.”
What is the answer to the homeless in Sarasota, in St. Louis, in Chicago? What is the answer to the pain and the suffering and the loss? What is the answer? We are God’s answer. For God has strategically placed us in hospitals, in apartments, in condos, on the street, in retirement centers, in classrooms, in the church, in church meetings, in the store, in the office meeting, to be creative listeners, to bring redemptive healing to the people around us. Don’t ever underestimate the difference your touch, your card, your smile, your note, your call, your fax, your email, your look, your listening ear can mean in the life of someone who is hurting, who is experiencing pain.
Let us pray: Awesome God, bless us today so that we may be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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