This is the second in a series we are calling “One Life,” where we discuss the urgency that comes from having only one life to live. It provides insight on how God teaches us to live life better and to number our days by living spiritually not carnally. We will explore three ways God teaches us how to live this one life with better priorities. This article talks about the second way that God teaches us to live better lives — He teaches and trains you through trauma.
The second way that God teaches us, or instructs us to number our days, is that he trains us through trauma. In other words, God teaches us through traumatic events in our lives.
The Psalmist in the Bible talks about this in Psalm 119, verses: 71 and 72. It says: “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your decrees.” Verse 72 reads: “The Law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”
Pain jolts us into turning to God and to turning to His word. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of God goes on forever. In this scripture, David needed to seek God’s will through His words, through His laws, and through His decrees. David needed to see God’s priorities, God’s values, God’s commands, God’s perspectives… But it took trauma, and trauma was good. The trauma clarified. I think a lot of us can identify.
When we get trained through trauma, we wish, we hope, that we had listened earlier, Amen? We just go, “Man I wish that God didn’t have to do that to me — to wake me up — to help me get my priorities right. I wish I would’ve just listened. He told me that my life is a mist, it’s a vapor, it’s short, it’s a two-minute drill. I should order my life based on certain priorities that reflect the fact that I have a limited number of days, and I have a limited amount of time to live this life. I’m not guaranteed anything.”
But life does include trauma, and trauma is used for good, the Psalmist teaches us. When suffering enters our life, just as for the Psalmist, God is teaching us to number our days. He is teaching us to change our perspective.
That’s what happened to me at the Western Medical Center as I served in the Cancer ward. That year, God trained me by putting me close to people who were going through the most significant trauma of their lives. I watched poison be injected into their veins and held their hands to comfort them. I watched spouses disappear. I went to funerals.
You know, my mom lived a full life, but when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; she was given just 30 days to live. Luckily, she had some notice. God teaches us, encourages us to go back through use each lesson of affliction and trauma we’ve had. For those of you who have yet to be trained through trauma, just be proactive.
Listen to what God says about life — and steward it responsibly. But for those of you who are going through trauma right now, take the lesson. Let God turn it to be used for good. God has given you notice before your life is done — your one life.
Remember, God trains us through trauma.
Watch one or more of the One Life Sessions where men’s expert and pastor Kenny Luck helps you to learn how God’s men are learning to live their “One Life.”
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Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God – is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com.