In my Bible study today Beth Moore said something in passing that really hit me. I’ve been working through Children of the Day: 1&2 Thessalonians. I’m really enjoying it. Anyway! Today was on hindrances, and how Paul didn’t let his hindrances actually hinder him. He persevered despite the many, many difficult circumstances he went through (2 Cor. 11; 1 Thess 2). Beth was talking about how amazing it is to let God take the hindrance out of our past pains and she listed a bunch of equations (e.g., Heartbreak-hindrance= depth) (p.70).
One of those equations particularly struck me: “My pain-hindrance=my passion.” As I was thinking about it, I realized how true it is. Pain gets under our skin, makes us care about things we wouldn’t normally care about. And once you’ve worked through that pain, you still care about the thing that’s left. For instance, I’m passionate about natural health because I have a chronic illness and I’ve done the whole “do what your doctor says without questioning it” thing and it didn’t work for me. I’m also passionate about women in the church because I got told multiple times in high school and college that there wasn’t a place for me in the church (other than to just attend or do nursery or worship team).
Anyway, as I was thinking through all the things I’m passionate about, I realized that they’ve all come out of some painful situation that God has transformed through His love. And He’s been faithful to provide outlets for me to use that passion in various ways.
I wish, however, that we would talk about that in the church. You know, when we’re giving people spiritual gifts tests and telling them that God has something for them in a vague, general sort of way. It would have been nice to have someone say: here’s your gifting; look at whatever the most painful experiences of your life have been to figure out what you’re passionate about, and ask God to combine the two. (Or something along those lines.)
It’s definitely something I’m going to be telling my children when they ask about what God might be calling them to do.