I was at the beach this weekend with one of my friends. It was beautiful. Very windy, but I love the wind. I was praying that God would be with us in an unexpected way. There were so many shades of blue, in the water and in the sky. I love blue. I was praising Him in my heart and Anni was walking a little ahead of me (I REALLY need to get in shape) and a gust of wind picked up some sand and it stung my legs, harder than I liked. My reaction was "Hey, Lord! That wasn't nice, I was asking you to delight me, not pelt me with sand." (I did not say that to Him, that would be disrespectful, but He knows my heart and that is what my heart said). And the thought came to my mind, "Sometimes, I am in the pain."
I was shocked. I have known pain can be good for me, and that it expedites growth but I had never thought about looking for God in my pain. In pleasure and in beauty, always, but in pain?
Heb 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
(And I don't mean "in" in a new-agey, God-is-in-the-trees way, but in a He-did-it-on-purpose way.)