I’m sure you’ve heard some women say regarding the birthing process, “once you see that baby you forget the pain”.
I went through it. Twice. I can remember every ounce of pain just like it was yesterday. Were my kids worth it? Absolutely. Would I want to go through it again. Absolutely not. Would I go through it again if it meant a life was delivered? Absolutely.
We can’t dismiss the presence of pain in life’s deliveries. It has a point. It has a purpose.
It took a lot of work to get my kids into this world, especially my son. It hurt like mad. No one else could do it but me. My husband has permanent loss of feeling in one of his hands due to how tightly I was squeezing it.
But here’s what I learned about pain with my child birth experiences.
- It activated change – those kids weren’t going to enter life without the painful motion of labor
- It activated rhythm – there is a tempo to the pain that set me in sync with something bigger
- It activated unity – the help of the yet to born child and my husband taught me teamwork
The pain wasn’t pointless. I don’t want to forget the pain. I don’t want to forget the memories of labor because everything beautiful, good and precious comes with a price.
This is the time of year we are inundated with all things Easter. And just like in the Christmas season we are frantically trying to find ways to remember Jesus and remember the Cross. We adopt certain traditions and practices to connect us to Jesus, to honor Him, to listen to the story once again hoping to find something fresh.
If we want to go deeper with Easter, I say we begin with pain.
Look at your pain.
Every pain you’ve felt, whether it be from your own doing, from someone else’s doing or with no explanation at all is the result of the absence of God somewhere. Every fall out from bad decisions, whether it be from you, from someone else’s doing or with no explanation at all is a result that God is needed somewhere.
God doesn’t want to be absent anymore. But we have to acknowledge pain to open the door for God.
Pain is the space between us and God. A gap that needs closing.
Our pain can teach us something too.
It can activate change – every pain has an invitation from Jesus to let Him do something with it
It can activate rhythm – pain can reveal God’s songs and draw us toward His melody
It can activate teamwork – pain exposes loneliness, God waits to be present to us.
Our pain is God’s absence in every possible way. He can lift the pain, oh yes, but the hurt remains. Hurt is the afterglow of pain. Hurt is the surrendering of one’s will to the unknown will of God. Hurt is many things. God hurts.
Hurt and pain are two different things.
God and hurt can co-exist. Pain and God cannot.
Pain is the companion of the Cross. It’s the point of the Cross.
The Cross bears it.
So when you are done looking at your pain.
Look at the Cross.
See if you can find your pain there. See if you can identify your sin. See the gap. When we see our pain, our sin, our gap….we will find Jesus.