Thank you Lord for pain.
Through it you draw me closer to you. By it you drive me to my knees in prayer. From it you form in me the image of Christ.
Pain is a friend that I welcome with outstretched hands and open arms. Although he hurts me I am still glad to see him. Why? Because he was the closest earthly companion of my best friend Jesus. Pain was there in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus called out in utter desperation to God. But instead of giving up, giving way or giving in, Jesus took the cup that pain offered to him in the garden and drank down every last drop.
Pain was right there when the soldiers swung their whips and wielded their fists toward Jesus. He stood silently in the shadow of the cross as Jesus absorbed the punishment and pain that I so deeply deserved. Through pain Jesus bore the sin of my humanity of all humanity and screamed out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?"
Through the pain of Christ on my behalf I have been justified. By pain's constant presence I am being sanctified. Out of pain's strong grasp I will someday be glorified.
Without pain I'd forget to pray, to trust, to wait.
With pain I remember who is Lord, what is important and why I'm here.
Pain is the alarm clock that awakens me to the eternal. It is the cold water plunge that shocks my senses, causing me run to the warmth of my Savior's embrace. It is the sextant through which I focus on the true North of Christ's sovereignty as He guides me through the raging seas to the celestial shore.
Pain is the bitter bread that I must eat. Although I may choke it down, it makes me stronger. With each hard swallow I am taking in the fellowship of sharing in Christ's sufferings, so that someday I can attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Pain drives me to the foot of the cross so that I can be reminded of the One who endured the ultimate pain on my behalf. Pain provokes me to worship. It lifts my face to be reminded of the pain Jesus endured to free me from the eternal pain of hell.
"Heavenly Father, I am on to you. I know your secret. Pain is the chisel in your hand that you are using to chip off the excesses of granite sin and rock hard habits that encase my frail frame. I know that your job is not done until the image of Christ appears in me. With one hand you hold the chisel of suffering and with the other you wield the hammer of love. I can see the tears in your eyes with each blow. It is seeing those tears in the midst of my suffering that give me the courage to endure. It hurts God. But with every swing and every blow I see more of Jesus in me and more of your plan to use pain for your kingdom's gain.
Please don't stop."
*re-written from an blog I wrote three years ago. A good reminder for me and perhaps for you as well.