Thursday, October 11, 2012

{12} Patience and Pain Sitting Peacefully Together

Yesterday, I copied and pasted for you the breathtaking comment some anonymous reader wrote here days ago.  The photo above is edited to include some of her words.

Lately, the ideas of patience and pain have danced intimately through my mind, and my spirit laughs, "Yes, yes! THIS is what Christianity is like!"

Our faith is full of apparent contradictions... of yin and yang.

  • We lose our lives to save them (Lk 17:33).
  • We boast in our weaknesses, because that's where Christ is strong in us (2 Cor 12:9-10).
  • God/Jesus conquered death by letting death first conquer Him (1 Cor 15:55-56).
  • We rejoice in our sufferings; it's the suffering that leads to our hope! (Rom 5:3-5)

But I know.  It stinks to hurt and wait.
Uncertainty is maddening.

Televangelists would have us believe that Jesus brings health, wealth, and prosperity.  Yet our personal experience tells us this isn't true, and children's fairy tales show us we wouldn't want this to be true.  No worthwhile happy ending comes without a preceding conflict.

The health, wealth, and prosperity gospel breaks my heart because it is missing the richness and complexity that makes life in Christ stunning.
Light and shadow create art.
Conflict and resolution make story.
And God is not going to let His children float through life without feeling what it means to be tossed by a wave.  It's by being shaken that we find joy in the only One unshakable.

Our sweet Savior Jesus, HE is a mind boggling contradiction.
He's the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who has conquered the world...
and yet,
He is the Lamb Who was Slain. He was conquered so we wouldn't be.

And we're invited to be like Christ, sharing in His complexities, in His glories, and in His sufferings.  (Rom 8:17)

Jesus never intended to give us a pain-free life on this planet, but He did invite us to live a profoundly beautiful one.
I don't know about you, but the most awe-inspiring praises I've ever seen came from the mouths of the suffering, who praise God through the pain... even thank Him for it.

I'd rather my life hurt and inspire God-awe than coast and inspire yawns.

In Christ, the Lion and the Lamb lie down together...
... and in Christ, patience, pain, and praise dance joyfully in our hearts.


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What pain can you thank God for?
What pain can you praise God through,
even if you don't understand it?
Would you share with us in the comments?

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Please consider looking through the comments in this series 
and praying for our sisters who wait.

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Waiting? Hurting? 
Have God-glorifying ideas for this series?
Comment or email me.
rachelgoode1@gmail.com
We'd love to pray for you all month.

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Today was Day 12 of
31 Days of Waiting:
Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5     Day 6     Day 7     Day 8     Day 9     Day 10     Day 11     Day 12     Day 13     Day 14     Day 15     Day 16     Day 17     Day 18     Day 19     Day 20     Day 21     Day 22     Day 23     Day 24     Day 25     Day 26     Day 27     Day 28     Day 29     Day 30     Day 31

12 comments:

Judy @ Contented at Home said...

It's wonderful to know that God is there in the midst of pain and difficulties! He will never leave or forsake His own!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about God's truth - although that is not always popular (or what we want to hear). It is sad to me that so many people get caught up in the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. I can only imagine rather than lifting people up, it only makes people more frustrated as life doesn't seem to work out like it should be as disease, poverty, brokenness continue despite 'our best efforts.' I know I am a few days late in suggestions for this series, but I would love to see a post compiling resources that have helped others in the wait. Books, links to online sermons, verses, blogs, etc. Again thank you for your words and prayers. I have definitely learned new things this month. Although I still desire a husband and family, I have found that God has met me in this wait above and beyond what I would expect. Unfortunately for so long I was always looking for that "one thing" to fulfill me instead of allowing God to fill in the 'gaps' in His way/time. God bless, VB

Meghan Carver said...

I'm your neighbor at Beholding Glory today. Great post! What's been particularly difficult for me is enduring the pain from others who don't understand or don't accept my doing of God's will and not their will. I don't know that I'm inspiring God-awe in them, but you just never can tell. Thanks.

MrsP said...

Light and shadow create art.
Yes, they do, but we don't like it. As a writer, the most important character I create isn't my protagonist, it's my antagonist. He moves the action. He makes the story.
But I don't want him in my life.
I know that what doesn't kill me makes me strong, but I don't want to have to be strong.
I want Eden back.

RACHEL said...

I want Eden back, too! God has placed Eternity in our hearts... we were made to long for it. It's part of what we learn through waiting... that this world is not our home, and our wait -- no matter what we think it's for -- is ACTUALLY for Heaven, where we'll be in the intimate Presence of God!

I love your comments, and all of you! Please keep leaving them. They light up my day!

Rebecca said...

OH, so true! God's ways are upside down from this world...until we bend our mind, submit and accept him...we miss out on the beauty of pain...the pain of changing and being transformed!

Kathy Sykes said...

Do I believe patience and pain can reside in the same heart? Yes, in the heart of a person who truly understand God's grace and mercy. It is very difficult though (for me anyway) but I am striving to look toward his face for better understanding.

Wendy @ E-1-A said...

Been diagnosed with tennis elbow (couple of weeks ago). Also have arthritis in my neck which gives me jip from time to time. Both are a reminder to me re: others' sufferings and keep me mindful to pray for those who are sick... so can praise God for this reminder. Also, grateful on the days when I have no pain. I don't understand pain but for the aforementioned reasons, can thank God.

RACHEL said...

Wendy, that's such a great example of how you can use your pain to lead you to God's purposes (praying for others with compassion.) I love it. Thank you!

futurehope said...

woah. that is an intese but beautiful post.

thank you for the beautiful reminder! some areas of my life hurt right now and it is good for me to be reminded that God's grace, mercy and glory are shining through the pain!!!

Zhanna said...

Its why the book of Daniel clearly states that all will go through fire in the end times and those who are truly lovers of Jesus will come out refined while the rest will burn up and be destroyed.

I think those who seek Christ for what He can give instead of seeking Him simply for who He is will have hard time saying "God is good" when storms pummel them to the ground.

And what a clear perspective you provide when you state that you have only see those who truly suffered utter profound praises to the King.

Such truth.

RACHEL said...

Zhanna,
I haven't even talked in this series about how we're refined with fire. Such truth!