As Mary Ann and I first got to know one another, we found out that we didn't have a lot in common. While we only lived a couple of miles apart, it's like we came from different planets.
I first discovered this when I saw a picture of her as a kid wearing white gloves with matching purse shoes to church . In my mind, this screamed that she was from the more educated and sophisticated part of town. And for dipping my toe into the world of high-end fashion, as a kid I wore hand-me-down corduroy pants with black rubber galoshes that had those metal buckles. When I walked, I sounded like a one-man band.
But for reasons known only to God, we kept on dating and getting to know one another. While we had very little in common, we did have one very important experience that we could share.
As kids, we had the same dentist.
It's funny that as we talked about our childhood dentist, we had the very same experiences. We had the same feelings about them. As a matter of fact, we had the very same descriptive words to describe them.
You see, even though we didn't know one another as kids, we had this one thing in common. We never met one another in the dentists office, but being their patient had a lasting impression and impact on us.
Now, there are many very fine dentists in this world. I thank God for them and their healing hand. We all appreciate their reducing pain in the lives of their patients too.
But we all to easily remember the bad experiences in life. Dentists. Doctors. Coworkers. Family members. We seem to be hardwired to choose remembering the bad more easily than to remember the good. But is that the way God wants us to think? The way he wants us to live?
shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job 2:10 ASV
Job certainly got more than his share of pain and suffering. But he didn't turn into an angry, bitter guy. He saw it as an opportunity to see that God never left him. Even when he was in the middle of receiving evil, Job knew that even this was inside God's hand and control.
Could it be that God wants to speaks to us through pain and suffering? Are there things that God wants to burn into our memory through experiencing hurt and misery? The answer is yes.
Job was willing to pay the price to learn what only comes through pain? Are we?