Bring on the Pain

Frank McKinley likes to spend his time reading, writing, drinking coffee, and taking photographs. He and his family have been members of Christ Community over ten years and in three locations. If you'd like to read more, his blog is
Last week I went to the doctor because I thought I was going to die.
I prayed for God to make it all go away. 
He said, "Son, not just yet." 
When you don't have insurance, going to the doctor is the last resort. But when it hurts, you want to know why.  So as I waited to see someone who could tell me I really didn't have cancer, I thought the emotional pain might bury me first. 
You know it's not a perfect world. Sin has ruined everything. Try as you will, you know you've failed to obey the Ten Commandments. You lied to protect yourself as a kid. You lie to others when they ask how you're doing. You've stolen time from your employer when you've been idle at work. 
If that's not bad enough, sin has ruined your health. You can exercise until you're a hundred years old. You can avoid the vices of smoking, drinking, saturated fats, and aspartame. But you are still going to die.
That's the reward sin gives you. It's your birthright.
When pain confronts you, you tend to think life is unfair. That's good, because it is. God told us that we would have trouble (John 16:33). But in the same sentence he also tells us to be glad. 
There are three reasons. Jesus understands your pain. He went through your pain. Finally, He overcame your pain. 
Jesus understands your pain because he has walked in your shoes. When he became a man, he subjected himself to all the pains you experience. When he was beaten, he bled. When his friend Lazarus died, he wept. When he fasted in the wilderness for forty days, he got hungry. 
Jesus went through your pain by suffering and dying. 
Because Jesus didn't stay dead, he overcame your pain. Because he lives, one day everything sad will be untrue and everything that is broken will be restored. 
Believe Jesus loves you in your pain. It may hurt now. But he hasn't abandoned you. He knows how you feel. Remember this. Just as Jesus's death was temporary, your pain will be too. Because he overcame your pain, you'll get through it. And he will be with you all the way. 
Oh, by the way, I don't have cancer, at least for now. 
I do have joy. 
So can you.  
Will you trust Jesus when it hurts? 

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