“If you have known pain, you have a story. Tell it.”
“This will be written for the generation to come; that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18).
Humanity is indebted beyond calculation that in the distant past God told some people to write about their pain.
–Job went through the death of all his children, the loss of all his possessions, and a skin affliction that tormented him. We have no way of measuring the grief and misery he knew. On top of that, he was left with a nagging wife and given three burdensome friends. Eventually, he or someone wrote the story. And we are forever in their debt.
–The story of Joseph in Genesis is a favorite of many. Sold into slavery by his brothers, he was betrayed and framed and thrown into prison where he was essentially forgotten. And yet, God brought him out with a mighty hand. We are so glad someone wrote this. Moses, we are told (see Exodus 17:14; 24:4; 34:27).
–Someone wrote about Moses’ temper, the Israelites’ shenanigans, and David’s unfaithfulness. They wrote about Jeremiah’s hardships, Thomas’ doubt, and Paul’s sufferings. And yes, they recorded Moses’ faithfulness, David’s songs, and Jeremiah’s courage. Thankfully!
We’re glad they thought to record the dark side. Think how much poorer we would be had the writers of history chosen to record only the pleasant, “uplifting” events and experiences and left out what Oliver Cromwell called the “warts and all.”