Two phases in the process of pain
The four flavors of pain:
HOW DO WE SEE GOD AS A RESULT OF OUR PAIN?
WHAT DO WE NEED TO SEE DIFFERENTLY ABOUT GOD SO THAT WE CAN EMBRACE THE BAD THINGS THAT HE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN IN OUR LIVES?
Our pain needs to be reframed so that it does not fragment our lives but in fact in brings to us the revelation of the nature of God that unites it.
Many times, the root of our rejection comes from powerlessness. This alone opens up for us a whole bunch of 'why' questions. Our spirits were made to triumph over evil not be dominated by it. Often it is impossible to make sense of what happened and at this point it easier to separate those events from the collective emotional database.
YOUR THOUGHTS AND PERSPECTIVE ARE YOUR CHOICE. HOW YOU VIEW YOUR ENVIRONMENT IS ENTIRELY UP TO YOU.
Can you find even in your most powerless situations some purpose, plan, meaning and value that you can leverage into your future??
SHAME AND GUILT
Both can afflict us in situations where it was NOT our fault.
God is exquisite at addressing our areas of shame and restoring dignity and faith. He is a God of new beginnings.
Two stories are Adam and Eve and Peter.
Guilt as well as shame if left unprocessed will divide and disconnect you from your own life.
CAN'T SEE THE VALUE
Amidst our many 'why' questions, it is very important to tackle this one question.
If God is a God of redemption, then what about my life?? What kind of precious gems do you have that you wouldn't have gained outside of the fire? What did God give you?
And what happens when you just can't find even a thread of value amidst the debris? It is here that you will have to trust.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE PARTS OF YOUR LIFE THAT DON'T FIT INTO THAT IDEA OF WHO GOD IS?
This tension is all thru scripture and thru the structure of human civilization. It is important to make sense of those things that seem contradictory or incompatible: light and dark, good and evil, free will and predestination, universal values and individual freedom..
the good and bad inside of us. messy.
We will till the day we die, be a mixture of triumphs and failures. We must accept them both. We may have to do a lot of reframing and reconciling with our own life story to accept that as much as we wished things had been flawless, it wasn't and will never be.
Being connected to your story means that we need to accept many things that do not fit into the neat frame we think is required for the Christian life.
WE ARE REAL PEOPLE LIVING IN A REAL, AMAZING, AWESOME, CONFOUNDING, MESSY, PAINFUL, BEAUTIFUL WORLD.
Only when we embrace this robust view will the greater reality of the life of God flow thru us with the vitality we were made to express.
Reconciling with our storyline our great author is writing for us is one of the most important things we can ever do.
Having read the chapter, Flavor of Pain, what are your thoughts and emotions that bubble up? How do you relate to what is being described?
There are four areas of pain that often block us from connecting to our stories. Can you identify with one of them more than the others? What causes that one to stand out for you?
Can you identify a time when God reframed the picture and helped you get past the pain? What was that like for you?
What Bible story of redemption stands out the most for you? Can you relate it to your own life?
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