OW! That was the sound we heard from our 9 year old daughter. She came into the house crying, upset and hurt. She had just stubbed her toe on our steps to the porch. She by-passed everything and everyone and went straight to Mommy. Up in her lap she jumped and Kelly wrapped her arms around her tightly. Payton stayed there in Kellyís arms for what seemed like an eternity, but, I digress, was about 10 to 15 minutes. Each of them telling the other how much they loved them, and Kelly offering soothing words of comfort only a Mommy can give. Suddenly, through the warmth of Mommyís love, Payton was better and sprang into action again, running in and out of the house, up and down the steps, and all points in between. Every now and again, Payton would say ďHi Mommy!Ē as she went about her business, but never really slowed down again until bed-time, spending the rest of the day doing her own thing.
I have noticed our lives as Christians are often, most of the time actually, like that. We waste the hurt we are going through. Now, that may seem like a very profound thought, and I guess it might be; yet, much truth is in it. When Payton was hurt, she ran to find the one she knew who could help and got as close to her as she could. Steadfast in her Mommyís protection and love, being nurtured, given comforting words, as well as words of wisdom about how NOT to stub her toe again. See, it is in those times that we have pain and trouble and draw near to God, that we are closer to Him, more in tune with Him, listening to His instruction, and more dependent on Him. I subject that we actually spend too much time looking and asking for a way out of the pain, than we do acknowledging how much closer we have come to God and taking advantage of it. We are told many times in Scripture to draw near to God:
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.
God is always faithful to His promise to never leave us or forsake us, yet, at the first sign of trouble, we often question that. We wonder why we are going through the situation. Understand this, your circumstances never change who God is. For every trial you go through, there are a hundred-fold more He has kept you from. We are never promised a trouble-free life, and it is during those times of pain, that we need to draw nearer to God rather than looking for somewhere to place blame. The fact is the sin, death, sickness, etc is all traced back to the Garden of Eden, and the blame starts there. Though a bit off subject, let me say, donít rest in that and say sin is not your fault, Adam and Eve are at fault for the fall, but nobody made you commit the sins you have, thatís on you; however, donít take the sicknesses and such you go through as God lashing out directly at you, it is because the world is no longer a perfect place.
So why are we so quick to try and get out of the pain without taking advantage of the time we have to draw closer to the Lord? Letís face it, I donít care who you are, we all become more dependant on God when we have troubles, and when we are better, we often do like Payton and take off doing our own thing. Some people to the extremes to where they donít go to church or pray unless they are having troubles, but those who do have a close relationship with Jesus do it as well. So I say, stop wasting your pain. Paul understood this:
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
How we handle the situation is completely up to us, but if we say our goal is to be closer to God, then why are we wasting the moments when we are actually closer to Him than normal? What we go through, knowing even He Himself was tempted (yes, temptations are trials and tribulation) He knows we can handle, no matter how devastating it may be. The verse below is referring to the TEMPTATION aspect of trials, not physical and emotional pain as some have falsely used it. But even through temptation we can rise and be stronger if we lean on Him:
1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
And whatís more, if our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, came and suffered to save us, how dare we think we can go through life unscathed! The Bible speaks of this as well. In the below passage, pay special attention when you get to verse 4:
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Ye have not resisted unto blood. In other words, Christ came and without one complaint, suffered and died that you may live eternally with Him. If you are still here and able to complain, you havenít resisted these things up to death, and that, my dear brother and sister in Christ, is your breaking point, nothing before it, as rough as the tribulation may seem, is. So again I ask, if our goal is to be closer to Him, yes, ask for the pain to pass, but bask in His warmth and draw closer to Him looking for the blessing you can receive from it. Donít waste your pain.
In His Grace,
Mike Harris Jr.
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