"But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering." Job 36:15 (MSG)
While on vacation this week with friends, the adults have been having purposed conversations about ourselves. We didn't want to waste the opportunity to spend a week together and not get to know one another better. One of the instruments used in kick-starting our conversation is the "If" book, a deceptively simple book of conversation questions that start with the word "if."
One of the questions that prompted the most intimate conversation among our group was "If you could choose one mistake in life to undo, what would it be?" A host of mistakes I've made on my life journey sprung to mind. Yet, as I pondered each one, I realized that for every major mistake I've made in life there is a corresponding life lesson that has served me well. I might want to undo the mistake, but I would never want to give back the wisdom I gained from suffering through the mistake and its' consequences.
Elihu provides a nugget of truth in alluding to the fact that there is purpose in our pain. When we purpose to learn from our mistakes and from the suffering we experience, we gain wisdom that keeps us from future grief.