When patients enter my office, many of them come initially to find relief from the mental and emotional pain they have suffered. As a physician, I do my best to provide that relief with the tools that I have available and I get excited when patients return and tell me how much better they feel.

Relieving suffering is a worthwhile goal in life, one that any of us can provide to those who are hurting. A kind word, a loving gesture, or a listening ear can help calm an anxious heart or a depressed spirit. If, however, we stop at just relieving suffering and fail to encourage people to search for reasons in and beyond their pain, we are doing them a disservice.   The answers may not be readily available. It may take years of searching but meaning can be found in what seem like the most meaningless of circumstances.

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We have been considering the story of the man born blind in John Chapter 9. If you read the story, you will realize that there were several actions the blind man took for and as a result of his sight: he wanted, he waited, he went and washed, he witnessed, and he worshipped. Consider the first for just a moment.

After years of living like a beggar, the blind man wanted relief, sure,  but more importantly his faith drove him to search for answers and he found them in the person of Jesus Christ. He met God that day and in his mind, that encounter with Christ was worth it all. As an added bonus, God used the blind man to demonstrate His power to millions of people throughout the centuries!

Question: In the midst of painful circumstances, are you only seeking relief or are you open to exploring the reasons for your pain as well? If God were to meet you face to face, would your heart be open to His answers to your deepest questions and hurts?  If so, why not start your search today? (Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart!) 

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