There has been a whole lot of pain dwelling in my heart lately, and so much so that the bitterness has been spilling out. It pains me to admit, or even condone letting my pain be seen by others since I am a relatively private person. I do interact with people on a daily basis, but I prefer to be in a quiet corner of the coffee shop observing and writing; the patient observer, not the quiet stalker.
Pondering on the idea of pain has been enlightening for two reasons. First, I have lots of experience to draw from, and the second, I desperately want to find a solution to it. However, pain is an inevitable piece of life and no one can escape it. Pain catches us all off guard. We see it at our jobs, in our homes, in our families, in our relationships, and the list goes on. What does that say about us? It says a lot. Either it means our lives thrive on pain, that we enjoy causing pain to others, or that we are inherently flawed beings who can't escape. In the end we are broken beings. We've been torn asunder from the natural purpose we were intended to follow. Basically we are not doing what we were intended to do. So this leads us to another question: what is our purpose?
The Meaning of Life Stuff
The age old question of purpose came to mind when I thought about the pain we dwell with in our lives. Pain is not what we have made it out to be. Sure it can be a destructive force, but it also can be a force that corrects bad habits or behaviors. Does that mean that our lives are filled with pain because we allow it? Yes and no. It means that our purpose is flawed and broken, thus we are stuck in pain because we are fighting against our purpose. Pain is a direct result of our fall from grace. Read Genesis 1-2.
"And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." (Genesis 1:28-31 ESV)
When God created man He first blessed him and then called all creation good. All creation He called good. Not one piece of it, but the whole of creation. We were not created in pain. I dwell on these verses to remind myself that I was made to do good work for the Lord. It can be hard sometimes to wander through a dark world that rejects and beats you down for everything that you do for the Lord. The world has rejected Him but that doesn't mean we reject Him because the world we live in will be hard. We need to fill our hearts and minds with the everlasting joy that can only come from Him. Pain was not the goal for our lives in the beginning and thus we cannot make it the goal of our lives now.
The world may be broken, our hearts may be flawed and our minds may be polluted, but Jesus washes all that away. When we find ourselves in the midst of pain we have to remember that He died to bring us back into fellowship with the Father. He died for our sins and filth so that we didn't have to. Our active goal should not be to dwell in our pain, but to see our pain as the opportunity to grow for Him. He never lets us fall and we aren't suffering alone. He is there to catch us and He is there to walk beside us. Fix your gaze upon the Son and see the Father.