Avoiding Pain...Because It Hurts

avoiding pain becuase it hurts Friends, I absolutely love life. I love life because I choose joy by giving thanks, I make the disciplined decision to see the gifts God engulfs my life with. It's not always easy, but I fight for joy when I feel like I'm drowning. And this afternoon, folks, I have felt the drain unplug and joy flushing away as I gasp for air.

You know when you feel sucker punched in your gut, knocking the breath out of you? The silent tears follow shortly after you realize what just happened?

I would dare to say we all have people we love in our life. And then we have people that we LOVE in our life; I mean deep-within-our-core, would-do-anything for, love. One of those humans happens to be my beloved niece. I would die for her, if it meant her being safe in the arms of Jesus. Her life on this earth has been a rocky one and there have been multiple occasions that I have fallen on my face before God, begging a different story for her. Today I hear that things are only going south. Sometimes I tell myself I'm dramatic. But then I take a good hard look at her reality and it is glaringly clear that her life is nothing near what Jesus wants for her. I'm made aware that her life is opposite of what He wants for His beloved children.

Friends, do you ever avoid thinking about things because you know the pain it will bring? I often unhealthily avoid thinking about some things {because they bring gut wrenching pain}. We don't like pain, us humans. I realized today, my nieces story is one I often avoid thinking about {when I could be praying for her}. When I spend time thinking about the reality of her life, I weep and I break and I fall apart. I mean tears in the carpet fibers, a real ugly mess. My feebleness is thrusted into my face. Today, I was forced to think about it and I did just that. I broke. I then began wondering if I should move on and not think about it, maybe think of my garden instead: avoid the pain. But then my friend reminded me that Jesus wept.

Jesus wept.

If Jesus wept, I surely will not be looked down upon for weeping over injustice. If Jesus wept, it meant he let Himself feel the pain and sorrow that threatened His joy. If Jesus wept, it meant He cared deeply enough to hurt deeply, which also meant He loved deeply {obviously}. If Jesus wept, I can weep. I can weep on behalf of the broken and abused, I can cry out for justice, and I can beg God for His glory to reign. I can acknowledge time and time again that I would be so lost and hopeless without the strength, hope, and guidance of our Father. Sometimes we just need to weep in order to heal, to give thanks and see clearly again.

Do you know what Jesus said after He wept? I had to look it up to, so I'll tell you: “'Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?' ... Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, 'Father, thank you for hearing me.'"

If we believe {with our life} we will see God's glory. And He gave thanks, because God heard Him.

So today after I spent my time broken before The Lord, His spirit reminded me that He loves me more than I can pretend to comprehend, and He also loves my niece. That she is just as much His beloved, precious daughter as I am. He promised that I would see His glory. I gave thanks; giving thanks doesn't deny my pain but is used to exalt my King and remember why He is so trustworthy. I gave thanks for the home I have, allowing a safe place to fall apart. I gave thanks for the beautiful blue sky. I gave thanks for the one cookie on the table. Joy was present, but so was pain. Hope was present, even though I was staring the temptation of fear in the face; I turned and I gave thanks.

If you have blood coursing through your veins and a heart beat, the odds are you have pain. When you're in the midst of that ache, what will you do? How will you respond? Will you do what's "easiest" or will you fight for joy and lean hard into Jesus? We can choose to be hard-hearted or we can choose to be real-hearted. It's always a choice.

Jesus wept, and then He gave thanks to the Father for hearing Him. The Father hears our agony and our weeping, and He is near us. He will carry us through. Keep pursuing and running into His arms.

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Isaiah 5:16 "But the Lord of Heaven will be exalted by his justice.The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness."

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