A New Thing Born out of Pain

Bible Reading: Isaiah 65; 66; 2 Kings 19:37; 2 Chron. 33:10-17

"A woman does not give birth before she feels the pain; she does not give birth to a son before the pain starts. No one has ever heard of that happening; no one has ever seen that happen.... 'In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,' says the Lord.... 'I will give her peace that will flow to her like a river.... Like babies you will be nursed and held in my arms and bounced on my knees. I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child.... You will be happy, and you will grow like the grass. The Lord's servants will see his power...'" (66:7-14 NCV).

Sometimes when we experience pain, we feel like nothing good could possibly result from it. We can't understand the reason. But God promises that he won't allow pain without allowing something new to be born from it. Perhaps it will be a new attitude, a new path in life, a renewed spirit, a new joy/zeal for God, a new opportunity to glorify God, a second chance, a new dream, a new understanding of God, a renewed relationship, a new friendship, a new skill, or a new character trait. As the new thing develops within us, God will nurture it, protect it, cultivate it, and care for it until it produces happiness and growth within us and around us, and we see God's power. Sometimes it takes years before the "new thing" in us matures and develops enough for us to recognize what it is, ...before we see God's power and glory, ...before it produces joy and peace.

Lord, keep the "eyes" and "ears" of my spirit open to your leading during my pain. Help me focus on you and your instruction, just as, in labor, I have to focus on my doctor's and coach's instructions to breathe and push instead of just screaming at the pain. Remind me that the labor pain doesn't last forever (although sometimes it feels that way), and that it will produce something new and beautiful in my life. After each painful "birth," may you nurture the new thing that you bring into my life; let it produce growth and maturity in me; let it bring glory to you.