Oh, the Pain of It All

1 Chronicles 4:9-10: And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore [him] with pain.”  Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that Thy hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep [me] from harm, that [it] may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. (NASB)

Who wouldn’t want this to be real in their life? I want God to bless me and expand my borders, (unless that border is my dress size). I yearn for God to be with me and keep me from pain.

I pondered this tiny prayer, seeking to apply it to my own life. Pain. What kind of pain do I want to get away from? Why, me, of course! I want to get away from my flesh, the part of me that is not God-like.

Jabez was known as Pain and no doubt lived up to his name. Don’t we all?  It’s hard to get free from the stigma of the past. The world watches our label and expects more of the same. When Jabez asked God to keep him from pain, perhaps he too wanted to be free of his label, free to expand beyond being a Pain and free to escape that fleshly part of him that kept him from God.

Prayer: Oh Lord God, Bless us indeed.  Enlarge our borders. We pray that your hand would be with us and that you would keep us from the harm that is ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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