Pain and Maturity and the Boko Haram
Leah Sharibu is one of the Nigerian Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last February. All her classmates were allowed to return to their parents after they recited the Islamic declaration and “converted” to Islam, but Leah refused. So she has been kept in captivity by the terrorist group. Her mother had taught her children the Bible and held devotionals with them as they were growing up. Leah sent a message to her mother saying, “You were right, Mother, pain draws you closer to God.”
That story pierced my heart. I really do not like pain. Some people can power through pain and know it makes them stronger. I struggle to accept it. Leah is 15 and already knows this truth and accepts it.
Pain is an inevitable part of the journey with God. It’s an inevitable part of life without God, too, but sometimes we Christians think we should be exempt. If we are obeying God, or doing right, shouldn’t we be rewarded?
Leah is one who wasn’t rewarded. At least not by our measure. But I trust God is doing something in Leah he couldn’t have done if she were not willing to accept this pain.
I read this quote last week, but unfortunately, I forgot to write down who it is from. The author is addressing the truth that not everything is going to be righted here on earth, or at least not on our timeline: ”Essential to maturity and, indeed, beauty, is living with unrelieved pain, unresolved wrong, unmediated injury. God himself writes it into our story, not to ruin us but the very opposite – to glorify us. Let’s accept it, and wait quietly on him. He has not forgotten.”
“I am still confident of this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14.