“What is the plunder of my particular trial? I believe that the plunder from my and your trials are the priceless gems that Jesus teaches us in the midst of our pain and suffering–those precious times when He surprises us with a Scripture that seemed to be written just for us for just that moment. It is the gem of discovering that within us lie secret places of rebellion, unbelief, pride, fear, anger, bitterness which He is now ready not to condemn us and chastise us for, but rather to dislodge these stubborn issues in order to heal us and set us free from their bondage. This healing is the plunder! He says to us, just as He says to the children of Israel–take it out with you, take the gold, silver, and every rare gem that I have redeemed from this secret place within your soul and follow Me.
And what does He want me to do with that plunder? My publisher spoke a word to me as we talked on the phone early in the publishing process which has lodged deep in my soul: He said, “Thank you for not wasting your pain.”
Not wasting your pain—not taking the “plunder” and burying it away somewhere. Rather, taking the pain and casting it upon many waters, which will take it to many hurting and wounded souls who can drink deeply of that living water and find freedom in their pain. I so often think of the subject of “living water” as it relates to our relationship with Jesus and as it relates to our day-to-day walk with Him. Living water is rapid, rushing, bubbling water. It is living because the tumbling over rocks and tree roots is what cleans it; it is always fresh. Water that is held in cisterns soon becomes stale and stagnant. As we cast our painful experiences, our wounds, our hidden secret places out into His living water, Jesus cleans it and sends it quickly on to others so that by drinking, they too can be free in Him. He doesn’t waste any of it.
By collecting our tears in His bottle, I came to understand that now, when I encounter a woman in the throes of a painful ordeal, He dips into His bottle of my tears and retrieves them. He allows the memory of the pain, the experience of it, to be fresh again, so that I can walk into her pain and offer her the comfort I received from Him, just as He so beautifully illustrates in 2 Corinthians 1:4. If I have kept my tears to myself, hidden them away somewhere because they are just too painful to keep, then I will forget that pain and all of the lessons I learned form it, and I will become a stagnant cistern, or worse, a broken cistern.”
Are you looking for your plunder or are you burying it away somewhere while trying to be super Christian widow?