It happens in a second… Life Changes. What was gives way to what now is. It happens again and again and again. Some moments give way to glorious things… births, beginnings, breakthroughs. Other moments give way to deaths, endings, heartbreak. I must confess, in the moment, I can underestimate the weight and power of either. Maybe it’s part of Life. The way it is supposed to unfold; drama, tragedy, comedy, love… and possibly all in a single day.
You can always tell when someone is underestimating pain. They say things like..
Tomorrow’s another day.
Life goes on.
There are worse things in the world.
What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger.
NOT GOOD. NOT HELPFUL.
Why are we so afraid of pain? So concerned that when bad things happen we need to press down on the accelerator and get through?
I’ve got a few ideas.
First, it isn’t what we were made for and our hearts know it. We were made for Eden, paradise, the garden. And what was a wall and life on the other side of it.
Second, pain is now a part of our story and it is in our story… a necessary ingredient if we are going to have and enjoy Love. The greatest thing in the whole universe!
Third, God thrives in pain. It was C. S. Lewis that introduced me to the deep mystery when he wrote in The Problem of Pain…
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
David, penned that God is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18 MSG)
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut,
he’ll help you catch your breath.
It’s the glorious way in which Beloved Sons come to know they are and Warriors are trained up in a way that cannot be learned outside of hardship, trials, challenges and difficult circumstances.
The more I pass the test, the less they are hardship, trials, challenges and difficult circumstances and the more they become opportunities to grow.
Opportunities to trust.
Opportunities to love.
Moments I am being invited to be more and more my true self. The me that is most like Jesus and the me Jesus is most wanting to unveil to the world.
(More to come on this… look for part two shortly )