I'm not one of those people who miraculously hears God's voice all the time. It's a struggle most days. But pain has definitely increased my listening ability and capacity. There's something about pain that makes me a little more desperate, a little more needy, a little more urgent to get the pain out of my life.
It's been another season where a lot of pain surrounds me. A number of friends this month that have struggled with infertility or baby pain, broken relationships, sin, and loss. Darkness surrounds them, but doesn't overwhelm them.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - The Problem of Pain
Lewis brilliantly notices that pleasure doesn't teach us much of anything, much less allow us to connect with the eternal, mysterious God of the Universe. Pain heightens that awareness. Pain turns our real need to hear God's voice into a felt need. We need a hearing aid, and pain is often that hearing aid.
My pain over the past couple years has been awful some days. Bearable other days. Present most days. Others' pain has also been with me many days. My hope and prayer for my pain and my friends is that our pain will rouse us. It will be a hearing aid from deafness to acute listening. And I pray that our pain will ultimately teach me and you how to live differently once the pain is gone so the megaphone becomes less critical to hearing his voice and knowing his heart.