Recently I broke one of my old crockpots, so my son dutifully went to Wal-Mart and photographed with his phone the three choices. The first was a sweet black model with cool buttons and digital displays...I immediately wanted it, though it was, of course, the most expensive at $49. The second was chrome with a "warmer" option and locking devices on the lid, all for the reasonable price of $29...Jeff liked it better. Finally, in third place was a plain ole crockpot, looking suspiciously like my old crockpot...for, yep, you guessed it, $19. Sadly, Jeff likes this one the best. We have not resolved this difference looming between us. I'm pushing the $49 model, hoping we'll "compromise" with the $29 one; strangely, Jeff is now saying he thinks the old one is fine with a minor crack in it's crock. Obviously, he's hoping I'll give up the fight and resign myself to the $19 one.
What, you my be thinking, has this got to do with pain and suffering? More than you realize. You see, when I was a young woman...I had an easy life. I was a "pretty girl" with plenty of dates, an education, some talent, a solid family and a great circle of friends. One day, I married my soul-mate, had two fine sons and enjoyed a very satisfying career. I was definitely a $49 crockpot with all the bells and whistles. Fast forward to the age of 39 and a diagnosis of cancer; suddenly, emotional pain, with a threat of serious physical pain, was an uninvited aspect of my golden life. Trouble had come with a capital "C"! I had been down-graded; I was a $29 crockpot...nice, but not anything special! Now, a decade later, I'm clawing to remain a $19 crockpot. You see, my fortieth year was catastrophic...a non- stopping spiral of many physical issues with a very dismal outlook. I am most certainly headed for the cracked crockpot category; in fact, I probably am already there. I don't even remotely resemble the $49 model I used to be...I'm ready for the yard sale.
But, I have to say, my cracked crockpot still works fine; the damage is all exterior, just like me. In fact ,due to a loving, gracious Father, I am learning to put my treasure where it won't decay...learning not to waste my sorrows but let them be tools that God uses to beautify me spiritually...the only eternal part of me! Now, having all of the outward bells and whistles doesn't even appeal to me anymore. They really have no true value...and, come to think of it, I think I will just keep my cracked crockpot...it works just fine! In fact, it bears the "scars" of "suffering"...just like me!
How about it? Are you wasting your sorrows? Or are the battlescars really the proud medals of hard won spiritual lessons? It's your choice, so choose wisely! The outcome of this choice will meet you in eternity either way!