Leverage this Pain

October 17, 2022
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Vibrant Congregations Meditations

by Peter Watts

Coordinator for the African American Black Council (AABC)

for the Reformed Church of America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9tJWbA5b1A

Introduction

It’s been four years since my father passed. This devotional is a continuation of the internal work and process I had to go through for complete healing. I’ve learned so much about myself in this process. I’ve become a better father, husband, and friend. My process and healing even led to the opportunity to be interviewed for the Chief Executive Officer position at the Los Angeles Mission. Although I didn’t get the job, I still learned a lot in that process. I learned more about the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles and the ways those problems disproportionately impact black men.

My prayer for you is that over the next few weeks you would spend each week reflecting, meditating, and pursuing whatever action the Spirit of God leads you to do.

I can admit that it is tough learning about yourself, but at the end of the day, you will become a better person for it.

Rhythm for Weekly Engagement

  1. Read – Read the scripture passages provided in this journal and others that come to   mind.
  2. Reflect – Reflection is the quiet meditation time you spend in your day to drown out the noise of the world around you.
  3. wRite – Write in the journal what you have been hearing from God this week.
  4. pRay – We use the Examen prayer as a model to recount our day and zoom in on where we have seen God and may have missed him because of our own busyness.
  5. Reach – Reach is the actual practice for the week. This is where you get to actually do something with what you have been experiencing in your journal time.
  6. Rest – God created the Sabbath. It’s an opportunity to just BE without any appointments or to-do lists. Spend this time just enjoying life and reflecting on how God is shaping you in His image more and more. 

Leverage This Pain (Week 1)

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future.”

~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 

Pain is difficult to manage. Many people have different tolerance levels for pain. Some people’s threshold of pain is high, while others are very low. In the case of the pain we feel from old father wounds, one must always be cognizant of how much we allow that pain to use us or rule us. Leveraging pain is helpful because we can look at the pain in our lives and use it as a stepping-stone or a foundational brick for our own emotional healing. God will oftentimes use pain in our lives to get our attention or remind us of His sufficient grace. This week in your devotional, look at the pain that your past has caused you and ask God in your prayer time how to turn that pain into a testimony for God’s glory.

Monday – Read Jeremiah 29:11.

Tuesday – Reflect.

Wednesday – wRite a journal entry based upon your reflection of the week.

Thursday – pRay using the prayer of Examen. 

Friday – Reach: Share your testimony with someone that God may have put on your mind. It could be for someone who needs to hear about the faithfulness of God for the first time.

Saturday – Rest.