God Doesn’t Waste Pain
We were examining watermelons in the produce aisle when we got the news. “Steve Saint’s been in an accident,” my dad said, scrolling through a message on his phone. “He’s partially paralyzed.”
Steve Saint is most known for being the son of famous missionary pilot Nate Saint, who was killed by the Auca Indians of the Ecuadorian jungle in the 1950’s, as told in the film “End of the Spear.” But Steve is also a personal family friend. He went to the same high school as my mom and her siblings. My dad has traveled with him into the Ecuadorian jungle to report on Steve’s continuing work with the very tribe who killed his father. And my brother interned with Steve’s company, i-Tec, two summers ago.
Now we were shocked to hear of this accident. While testing an experimental new vehicle, the message said, the aluminum wing struck Steve in the head. He was hospitalized in his Florida hometown, awake and in good spirits, but unable to move his hands and feet.
A Life Full of Pain
This inventor, pilot, and missionary is no stranger to suffering. The Aucas brutally murdered his father when he was only five years old. It left the little boy with a huge hole in his heart and a lot of questions. Years later, when his beloved daughter Stephenie died suddenly of a brain aneurism at the age of twenty, grief overwhelmed Steve again. Yet in the face of such acute heart-wrenching loss and pain, Steve Saint did the unthinkable. He chose to forgive the men who had killed his father. He chose to release his daughter to a Heavenly Father who loved her more than he did. And he chose to trust God to write his life story.
Even now, awaiting a delicate surgery to relieve the pressure on his spine, knowing that he may not recover full use of his hands and feet, considering what this will mean for his family and ministry, Steve Saint continues to place his life and future in God’s control. Soon after arriving at the hospital by helicopter, Steve said to his family, “let’s let God write this chapter, too.”*
God Doesn’t Waste Pain
God doesn’t waste pain. The pain of losing his father. The pain of losing his daughter. Now the pain of possible partial paralysis from this accident. By submitting his life to the Lord’s sovereign plan, Steve Saint is allowing himself to be used to bring hope and healing and restoration and reconciliation to many.
Your pain doesn’t have to be wasted either. But you have to make the choice. Will you allow the Lord to bring healing to your heart and use your pain for good? Will you let God write this chapter of your life?
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
Philippians 1:12-14, NIV