Honey Locust Thorns, photo credit: MONGO

Pain and the Creator

I hate pain.  I don’t want to experience it, I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to think about it, and I’m certainly not going to laugh at it (like the things that happen to the bad guys in a lot of kids’ movies). But that doesn’t seem to be quite what God thinks about it.

Leprosy is a terrible disease that destroys the ability to feel pain. This allows people to do things that we would never do because it would hurt too much. Together with the leprosy bacteria, this causes such terrible damage that they can lose their fingers and the use of their hands and feet.

Both Eve and Adam were told they would have pain because of their sin. The ground was cursed to grow thorns and thistles for Adam, and Eve was told that bringing babies into the world was going to hurt (a lot). Genesis 3:16-18

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, pain has served a very useful purpose in our lives. Our muscles and joints tell us when we are putting too much strain on our bodies. Our stomach lets us know when it is fighting germs and we’d better stop eating. And pain tells us when something is causing damage, like a thorn in our foot or sand in our eye. Without pain, our bodies wouldn’t last through our childhoods!

Jesus and Pain

Silhouette of Jesus on the crossOne of the things that Jesus did was to create us with the ability to feel pain, knowing that He Himself would be “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8b. Growing up, I really didn’t like hearing about Christ’s sufferings on the cross. They are too horrible to imagine.

Christ designed the whole nervous system with its ability to send urgent pain messages to the brain. He knew all the time that Humanity would figure out how to cause the most pain for the longest time and use it on Him. No wonder Jesus prayed so hard in the Garden to escape having to go through what was coming That Day!

Thank God, He submitted Himself to His Father and went anyway!

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Hebrews 5:7,8

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, someday those in His kingdom will never again have to feel pain:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

Suffering and the Christian

I was going to just share this on facebook, but realized the topic is too important to let fall into the archives. You will be able to find this post whenever necessary under “Teens” (since working through issues like suffering are a big part of growing up).
Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief

Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief

Over and over the issue of a good God vs. suffering comes up. Unbelievers throw pain and injustice in the teeth of Christ’s followers, expecting them to crumple under the weight of sheer misery. Sadly, many of us do.

I’m recommending this interview to arm yourself to keep upright through the thorny, shadowed walk of life.

Author Talks with Shaun Tabatt- Paul Grimmond, Suffering Well

It doesn’t take long for most of us to realize you don’t have to be in physical pain to suffer. Suffering comes in many forms large and small. Why does it happen to us? Does God know? How can I love someone who lets us hurt like this?

All these questions are legitimate and deserve answers. God gave answers and encouragement in the Bible for those who will listen.

One of the reasons this particular talk is worth listening to is Pastor Grimmond’s realization that we need to start asking, and answering, these questions before suffering takes over. If we pretend nothing bad will happen to us as long as we can, we will be knocked down for sure.

Here’s an analogy:

Traffic

It wasn’t quite this backed up, so the cars were moving faster!

When my brother had just gotten his license, we drove to downtown Chicago on the freeway. It didn’t take long for bunches of cars to pass us by, including a pickup truck with a mattress set tied to the top. My brother said to me, “if a mattress like that ever falls off in front of me, I’m going to go straight over it rather than risk an accident trying to avoid it.”

Not a minute later we watched as the mattress flew off the truck and landed less than 100 ft [30m] in front of us. Sure enough, we went right over the top, felt a slight bump, and continued safely on our way.

Thinking thinks through

Brainstorming

  • when you aren’t stressed out
  • when your body isn’t screaming at you
  • when there is time to search for answers

is the smartest thing any of us can do.

Following Jesus means we don’t have to pretend bad things can’t happen to us. It means being able to stare down the worst life can throw at us and know we’ll make it because we’re not alone. Of course, it also makes us cling to our Savior like crazy, but isn’t that a good thing?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Media Links You Won’t Want to Miss: Worldview, Grand Canyon, & More

Doing chores today I realized it would be a shame not to share the programs I was listening to with you all.   There are a number of other things I try to keep up with, but occasionally something is so amazing or vitally important I pass them on.

English: view into Grand Canyon from South Rim...

Each one is just under a half hour long; odds are, you can figure out some way to fit listening/watching them into your schedule.  The Creation Today ones are great to share with your kids, too, especially when you watch the most recent one!

It had been a while since Creation Today had done a new show (they were busy with some seminar somewhere….), but the last couple of weeks they’ve gotten right back into it:

I was in prison and ye came unto me - Eglwys L...

Then, while I was preparing supper I started to catch up on my Ravi Zacharias podcasts.  This two part speech on why there is suffering and how can a person know what true good and evil are is so good I had to pass it on as well.  Note how he brings creation and God as Creator in toward the end. There is a reason the atheists are attacking us here!

We cannot afford to just slide along through life without thinking through the big issues.  Even if major suffering never crosses your thresh hold, it will happen to many around you.  Just saying things like, “Jesus loves you, it will be fine” doesn’t cut it!  But there are Biblical ways to look at the world that speak truth and hope to the deepest part of our souls.

But in all things showing ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  II Corinthians 6:4-7

 

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