Posted by: bellissimanh | September 1, 2010

From Pain to Purpose


“Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us…” (Hosea 6:1a)

In working our way through a study of Hosea 6 this week, the Lord has really ministered to our hearts (Joel’s and mine). There has been so much to chew on that at times it’s overwhelming… but then, that’s what our Lord is – greater than our minds can comprehend J

The word “torn” here is “taraph”, and it is used of a predator that grabs its prey, shreds it with its sharp teeth, then consumes it. Sounds pleasant, huh? And something that brings this kind of pain is attributed to our God? How does that sit with you? This isn’t just about Him allowing something into my life… in this case, He’s the one doing the shredding!

A couple of things help me to feel more settled about this. First, I know that my Lord does nothing without a purpose. There is a reason behind everything that He brings into my life. He has a purpose for my pain. As James MacDonald put it, “God is relentless in His pursuit of us. His love is not a pampering love; it’s a perfecting love. The pathway to revival is through pain. God calls you back through pain, further and deeper into Him.”

Remember Lucy and Mr. Beaver’s conversation from the Narnia Chronicles? The children hear of how the great Aslan has ravaged the enemy and here is Lucy’s response:

“Ooh! Is he quite safe? I shall be nervous about meeting a lion,” Lucy asked.

“That you will be dearie… If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” Said Mr. Beaver: “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

The other thing that helps me to accept this picture of my Father as a roaring lion, inflicting pain is that it doesn’t stop there. The next part of the verse says “that He may heal us.” Honestly, I’d like the healing without the hurting… but most often it takes the pain for the Lord to bring about His deeper purpose for me.

“Despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For He wounds, but He binds up; He shatters, but His hands heal.” (Job 5:17-18)

I feel as though I’ve been in the mouth of the Lion of Judah this year… sometimes I could even feel Him shaking His head as I’ve been thrashed back and forth. Gradually, my perspective has changed from whining and licking my wounds to seeking out the Lord’s purpose in my pain. And He is healing me. It takes time, and it’s not always easy… but I’m not licking my wounds anymore. I’m laying submissively and allowing my Healer to bind them up. I don’t want to be pampered anymore… I want to be perfected.

How is He working on your heart today?



  1. Welcome back, Heather. I’ve missed you! These are some timely thoughts that you have offered us. Thanks so much for hopping on and sharing.


  2. Thanks, Leah! It’s been a difficult year… much of it has been too personal to put out there, or maybe I’ve just been too sensitive? Either way, the Lord has brought much needed healing to my heart and I’m ready to start sharing some of it… as He leads. It’s nice to be missed, though 🙂

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