Over Thanksgiving we were visiting family in Nashville, and we all went over to see the lights at the Opryland Hotel (amazing, by the way). I went in to use the restroom and the door to the stall swung shut pretty hard and--BAM--smashed the ever-lovin' heck out of one of my fingers. Immediately I put my hand up to try and minimize the throbbing.
So I'm standing there in a bathroom stall in the Opryland Hotel, hand raised, thinking to myself, "What is typically my immediate reaction to pain?" And I was thinking of emotional pain, like when I'm hurt, betrayed, or wronged, or even spiritual pain, like when I don't get what the Lord is up to, or when I'm disappointed that He moved things in a different direction than I had hoped.
Is it to immediately lift my hands?
Do I sulk, pout, vent to a friend, try to drum up sympathy, or do I lift my hands up to the one who formed my heart and has the power (and the desire) to bind it up and heal it?
It's been a week or two, and my finger is still a bit tender, but the pain isn't so great anymore that I need to walk around with my hand up. Even THIS speaks to me. We can rejoice in suffering because we know it produces in us a reliance on God of which we're just not as mindful when we're not hurting.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
There was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.