«l dwell . . . with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones». Isaiah 57:15
THE ENTRANCE of sin into our world introduced a new word into human vocabulary: pain. From that moment on, women would suffer pain when giving birth to their children; men would experience pain even to be able to eat. Pain would infiltrate into everyone’s lives; it would not discriminate according to race, gender, or social status (see Genesis 3:16, 17). Job lamented having been «allotted months of futility and nights of agony» (Job 7:3, EHV). And it’s not limited to the physical realm; for instance, Nehemiah had «sorrow of heart» (Nehemiah 2:2) despite enjoying good health.
Perhaps, that has been your experience throughout this year. Months of pain, anguish, darkness, a heart shattered into thousands of pieces . . . months that have taken away the meaning of life. Nevertheless, think about the answer to this question: could they have been months in which pain made you stronger? Could those dark nights perhaps help you build a more solid basis for your life and faith?
Brianna Wiest wrote a statement that helps us put the value of pain in our lives into perspective: «It’s a phenomenon so many people talk about but most can never quite define: the catalyst that breaks you open, the rock bottom on which you build the rest of your beautiful life. The suffering that was somehow so crucial, you’re grateful for it when all is said and done.»• Can we actually view pain as a catalyst? Could pain stimulate a process of growth and development in each of us? That is what Wiest proposes.
In a beautiful Bible verse, the Lord promises to «revive the heart of the contrite ones» (Isaiah 57:15). Are you heartbroken because of your pain? Today the High and Lofty One wants to comfort you; He wants to heal you; He yearns to infuse new life into your sad heart. No matter how heartrending your tragedy is, a moment always opens up when God revives your broken heart, reminding you that after that bitter cup, you will have plenty to be grateful for.