Friday, September 10, 2010

Why the pain?

Any parent who has ever had a hurting child before has made the statement, “Daddy/Mommy would hurt for you if I could.” We say this because we don’t want our children to experience any sort of pain. When they scratch their knee, we clean it up and love on them as quickly as possible. When someone hurts their feelings, we come to the rescue. If they’re going through worry and concern over life’s difficulties, we want to step in and solve it to make things right.

That is the parental nature in genuine moms and dads. 
Lately, I’ve wondered how my Heavenly Father feels when I’m going through my own difficulties? I mean, do you not ever wonder how such a loving God could allow us to experience pain?

I came across a statement recently used by the United States Marine Recruiting offices to get more individuals to join them.

‘Pain is weakness leaving the body.’

That’s a gut punch…no pun intended. No person desires to experience pain. While it seems that some have a higher tolerance level for it, being exposed to any sort of painful ordeal is not all that enjoyable. Marines believe that if a person will work through the pain, their joints and muscles will eventually adjust till they no longer feel it like they did in the beginning.

(Runners in the Inner Harbor - Baltimore City)
When you are in the middle of it though, it is tough to see the rationale in continuing on.

Your body will question…why are you putting me through this?
Your mind will wonder.
Your feelings will change like a roller coaster ride.

And it’s in these moments, when the pain is at its very worst, that every person will make their decision. This statement that challenges many men and women who have chosen to serve our country could also become the motto of every man and woman who chooses to take up their cross and follow after Christ.

(Downtown Baltimore City - Harbor area)
Paul said in Philippians 3:10-11, That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”  (KJV)

Galatians 2:20 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (NLT)

So I guess it’s true that pain is weakness leaving my body. Because without feeling the pain of the cross, I will never truly know Him. And to know Him will cause every person to live the scripture, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Our flesh has to go. Our way of thinking and our will can no longer be the determining factor of our faith…for the very thing (pain) we are asking God to get rid of could be the very solution to cleansing us of…us.

(Apartment in Federal Hill area)
8 "Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 
9 Each time he said, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  
(II Corinthians 12:8-10  NLT)

He knows what He’s doing. Stop wondering, why the pain? He just might be allowing it so you can get rid of some more of…you.

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