Turning Pain into Growth

A few days ago I slammed my finger in the jewelry case at work. It. hurt. so. bad. My fingernail turned black (yuck) and everyone keeps asking about it. 
But here’s the thing about this! Before it happened I had no idea that jewelry case was dangerous. I use it all the time and it had never occurred to me that it could potentially inflict pain. 
Now when I use the case I’m extra careful not to make that mistake again. Not only because the pain is memorable, but because my black nail is a good reminder of how bad it hurt.
This is kinda like life huh?
When something or someone hurts you (maybe even yourself), you don’t usually forget the pain. You remember the tears and the heartache. You remember the way it made you feel. And whether or not that situation left a physical scar or not, it most likely left its mark somewhere. 
The good news is that you can decide what you do with that pain. You can carry it around as baggage, or you can learn from it and use caution the next time. Maybe that means learning from your own mistakes (like slamming a door while your finger is inside), or maybe it means learning from the mistakes of someone else. Or maybe both. 
Sometimes those hurtful situations help us distinguish between the things that come from God and the things that don’t. Sometimes they help us become better people. Sometimes they help us grow. 
But no matter what, we are always able to learn.

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