Thursday, February 16, 2012
Entrusted with Pain
I don't often read the dedication page in books. Occasionally I'll skim one as I'm flipping open the book. It rarely happens BEFORE I've started delving into the chapters. But for some reason, today I read a book dedication before starting the book.
I'm just beginning to read Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See. Mary Beth is the wife of popular singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman. This book is about the recent death of their young daugther and the struggle to find hope in the midst of pain. I think it's going to be a good book and I look forward to writing more about it once I've finished it.
However, before even getting to the main text, I've already been given food for thought. On Mary Beth's dedication page, one of the people she dedicates the book to is her son, Will Franklin. Sadly, he was the one driving the car that hit and killed his little sister. I can't imagine the pain and guilt he has had to work through since that tragic event. His mother writes these words in her first sentence of her dedication: "You have been entrusted with incredible pain".
What a strange thought. Entrusted with pain. Usually we see pain as an unwelcome visitor. Something that we avoid at all costs. Unpleasant. Undesireable. Something that often makes us question the goodness and even existence of God.
Yet, Mary Beth says her son has been entrusted with his pain. I looked up the definition of "entrust" in Websters.
entrust: 1. to confer a trust on; to deliver something in trust to. 2. to commit to another with confidence.
If I'm reading this correctly, Mary Beth believes that God has given this pain for her son to bear with confidence that he will bear it for Christ's glory.
Wow. That really puts a new perspective on pain.
Louie Giglio has a talk that he did on Hope and in it he speaks to using our pain as a megaphone. When you are in the midst of the greatest pain, your reaction serves as a megaphone. You can either shout out your depression, your angst, your denial of God, or you can shout out God's goodness and grace, his sustaining power and his providence in all things.
Mary Beth is admonishing her son to be a megaphone that loudly declares the latter.
And I can only pray that as I am entrusted with pain in this life that I will also use it as a megaphone to confidently call others to place their hope in my Rock, Jesus Christ.