Have you ever had someone rub your shoulders when they were really tight, and it hurt, but it was a good hurt? That pretty much sums up my week.
I cried. Not once. Not twice, but THREE TIMES. Anyone that knows me well can testify to the rarity of such an occurrence. It’s not that I don’t ever feel sad, I just rarely am brought to tears apart from a death or a Nicholas Sparks movie. (But really…who can watch one of those things and not cry?)
I can’t share what drove me to gushing saline, but I can say that I wouldn’t trade those circumstances for much. Maybe a trip to the beach…but again, I digress. This time has been difficult, overwhelming and challenging, but through every step I have felt the Lord doing the pulling and prodding as gently as only He can. He is changing me, stretching me, pruning me.
John 15:1-2 explains the process in Jesus’ own words:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
The process of purging and pruning is initially a painful one. Things that hamper growth are cut away for the benefit of the vine. Jesus does the same with us. He knows that we occasionally need to go through times that are hard, overwhelming and painful to produce in us a beautiful harvest. But even as He cuts, He does so gently, and with words of encouragement and strengthening from His Word.
God is a good husbandman.
He is a loving one. And everything He does, He does for our good and His glory. Resisting the process is what causes the most pain. “Kicking the pricks,” as He accused Saul of on the road to Damascus, will hurt far worse than leaning into Him as He does His necessary work. Any parent knows that sometimes you have to do things that cause a child pain for their own benefit. Getting shots or stitches or pulling a splinter out of a tiny foot is a painful process, but healing comes as a result.
So while I hate to cry, I can honestly say that God is good and He is at work in my life and in the lives of others around me. In fact, it seems that the hardest times are often the best times because I can feel the Lord drawing me in to His side. I know that He is with me and that He will be true to His promise to never leave me or forsake me…no matter what lies ahead. (Hebrews 13:5)
Have you experienced “a good hurt” from the hand of God? Can you testify to the closeness of God as you traveled a rocky path? If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Blessings to you!