“Now I’m glad-not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from Him. The result was all gain, no loss.” 2 Corinthians 7:9 (MSG)
A few months ago one of our kids dropped a glass on our kitchen floor and it shattered into a million pieces. I thought I had swept up all the shards, but a few days later, an ache in my foot told me otherwise. I tried to ignore the slight discomfort but eventually it turned into a nagging pain that forced me to deal with the source of the tenderness. The piece of glass was so tiny that it was hard for me to fathom it could cause me that much grief.
BUT, if it hadn’t been for the hurt, I wouldn’t have known there was something in my foot that could eventually cause an infection or worse case, lead to an amputation if left untreated. The pain was an indication that something needed to be fixed.
Ignoring discomfort physically and spiritually is never healthy and it never addresses the problem. In fact it can lead to more heartache. When we feel the twinge of pain in our spirits it is often times an indication that there is something we need to deal with. A splinter in our soul.
Does hearing a sermon about pride, selfishness, lust, or idols cause you to shut down or become angry? When you read about forgiveness, compassion or loving others do you squirm in your seat? Do you feel a twinge of uncomfortableness in a relationship or friendship? That inward discomfort can be an indication there’s a deeper issue that needs to be dealt with. Don’t write off the discomfort and don’t ask God to make the ache go away. Instead, ask the Lord to reveal to you the reason for the irritation, then allow Him to work it out of you, and be prepared because more than likely it won’t be pleasant. Digging in my foot to remove glass hurt more than the actual injury, but once it was out the relief was instantaneous.
Recap: Discomfort ignored leads to long term issues, but if you allow your distress to push you closer to God and not drive you away from Him the healing will be worth the pain.
Challenge: Pay attention to the areas in your life where you feel extra “tender” and ask God to reveal the source of the discomfort to you, and then ALLOW Him to work out the splinters in your soul.