pain

DAY 26

Today has been a really hard day for me for two reasons. One has been physical and one has been mental/emotional/spiritual.

Physically i have had a huge splitting headache for most of the day and that is not normal for me, nor has it been fun.

Mentally/emotionally/spiritually today was probably my worst day on Facebook [and maybe being in pain already didn’t help] as i got into an exchange with two people professing to be Christians on the blog post my friend wrote about abortion, who just came across so legalistically and judgementally towards my friend and then to me when i stepped in, accusing me of a whole lot of things which were not true [clearly not people who know me] and just holding so tightly on to law with what felt like a complete absence of love.

“No, I am not condoning sin. What i am saying is that whether the person sinned or not, our response to them has to be a loving one.”

And so on. That kind of stuff doesn’t usually get to me which is why i kept engaging with them for so long i think. But then i think ultimately it did and largely because of the seriously bad name they were giving to Christianity. I came so close to blocking the one guy which i rarely ever do, washing my hands and walking away from it, but deep in my heart i just have such a love and hope for people that i really just keep believing they will change and encounter God and somehow get a glimpse of His transforming Love, that i kept at it for a while.

Task: So the challenge for today is to encounter God through some pain you have.

Now for some of you this may be easy as the pain, like mine, may be in your face. Maybe it is a health issue or maybe it is the loss of someone dear to you recently or a friend who just got really bad news again concerning their health [yup, me too!]. In the midst of the current pain, instead of running from it, take some time today to focus on it and on the fact that in the midst of pain God has promised to draw near and be there. IT MAY NOT FEEL LIKE HE IS. But He is.

Psalm 34.18 ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

Psalm 23.4 ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

Joshua 1.9 ‘ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’

And more.

There may be some of you who are not facing any pain at the moment. I want to encourage you to either look back to a time when pain was real for you or else to think of someone you really care about who is facing some sort of pain right now. And find God within the pain.

As we observe Lent we are heading closer and closer to the time when we remember what Jesus picked up and took on, on His own accord. We know that He embraced the deepest kind of pain and separation so that we don’t have to. Let that thought direct you as you meditate through the pain.

Let Philippians 2 assist you:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

[For the next post, day 27 of this Lent Observance, click here]

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