I’ve recently been reading the most excellent Dresden Files series (by Jim Butcher), and was gobsmacked by the following:
“Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living, only the dead don’t feel it.”
I read this only hours after sitting in church hearing the pastor teach on the true vine, branches, and pruning. It dawned on me that I’d spent an inordinate amount of my life trying to avoid the inevitable: pain. There are times in the past year, or so, where God was simply trying to do what all vinedressers do: prune.
And I tried to avoid it, tried to run from it. Tried to cover it with other things.
It didn’t work out so well. In fact, in trying to avoid pain, I only created more pain for myself and those around me. By avoiding, I only made things worse. Conflict is inevitable, and must be, well, confronted. There’s no way around it. By avoiding the uncomfortable, I set myself up for all kinds of failure.
I’m not saying pain is fun–it hurts!–but it’s a privilege when we consider the alternative: the dead don’t feel it. In point of fact: I don’t want to leave this world with regrets. Things undone, words unsaid, love withheld because it was scary and hard.
Love is pain, my friends. If we are going to love, we will hurt. If we are going to be loved, it will hurt. To shut ourselves off from pain, we (however unintentionally) shut ourselves off from the one thing we all need:
In Hebrews, it says that the Lord Jesus “learned obedience through those things which he suffered.” If that was true of Him, how much more so of us?
My question to you is:
Is there some pain in your life you’ve been trying to avoid? Trying to cover? What are you going to do to confront it, embrace it, learn from it?
Challenge yourself. You must find that, in your weakness, you are strong.