In the Places that Hurt

We’ve all heard them—heartbreaking yet inspiring stories of people whose painful, challenging or unwanted circumstances created a new arena for spiritual ministry.



People like Joni Eareckson Tada, whose quadriplegia became a tool to bring her closer to the Lord and to spread His message of spiritual wholeness to thousands of people.


Or Corrie ten Boom, a never-married woman who lived through Nazi cruelty, injustice and loss, helping others find the love and forgiveness available in Christ.


You can think of others. Their experience was also the Apostle Paul’s, who said, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).


Paul, Joni and Corrie experienced what we all can: the higher, spiritual reality that transcends the lesser reality of physical circumstances. The joy in Christ’s love that, I’m beginning to believe, is fully received and felt when things seem to go wrong.


God’s purpose, I think, in all things.


Could all this apply to prolonged singleness?


Yes. God needs us in the places that hurt because others are there who need to see His grace, hope and love in action. And maybe He allows us to be there too because we ourselves have yet to understand the wonderful depths of who He is to us.


Are we willing to reach out for Him? To find Him? And to let our unwanted circumstance become a place of wholeness for others?



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