Life Is Pain, Highness
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." –Genesis 50:20 NIV
Before anything truly awful ever happened to me, I was all about that verse above. What a comfort to know that when bad things happen, it’s all part of God’s grand plan. (Insert raspberry here.) Yeah. Not so comforting when you’re hurting, is it? Because when you’re hurting you don’t think clearly. You’re self-focused, not Christ-focused. And the idea that God did this to me for a reason, kind of sucks!
But if God is sovereign over every aspect of my life, if “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30) and “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Then, he knew.
Not only that, he planned it for a purpose.
Have you considered the wisdom of Westley in The Princess Bride? “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”
Nobody promised me an easy life. When you accept Christ as your Savior, God doesn’t wave a magic wand and erase all your problems or give you good health and abundant wealth. God already did the greatest thing he could ever do for us: He sent his Son to pay for our sins, so we could be reconciled to him. And when these pitiful, human bodies die, our spirit gets to live on in heaven with him.
Living in this world is hard. Living with these bodies is hard. Loving others is hard. But you know what’s even more difficult? Living with an attitude of discontent, and anger, and resentment. It will eat you up inside.
When I am in the depths of despair, I must first fix my eyes on Jesus. (Read my last post for more on that.) Then, I must remember that he has searched me and he knows me. He knows when I sit and when I rise; my going out and my lying down. He is familiar with all my ways. (Psalm 139)
So, he knows what I need to go through to know him more deeply, worship him more fully, and grow in my relationship with him.
It’s that simple and that complicated.
I believe that God’s plan is better than mine—always. He not only can see the big picture, he created it. When I’m hurting, I don’t beg God to fix it anymore. I ask that his will be done. I ask him to give me peace and the ability to glorify him in it.
Otherwise the bitterness would destroy me.
God made everything happen to Joseph the way it did so that his life would be a picture of Jesus. So that when the new Christians were trying to wrap their heads around this idea of a Messiah, they could dissect the Old Testament and see how it pointed to Jesus. And so that we could too.
Yes, life is pain, but “we are…co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us” (Romans 8:17-18).
Believe it, beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, and count on it, and let that be your knot when you are at the end of your rope.
With love in Christ,
Sweet Jesus, you know the pain in my heart. Give me peace in the storm and strength to glorify you in it. Take away all the bitterness, envy, anger and jealousy that might rob me of your peace. Amen.