The sun was just climbing over the mountain ridge as I carried my bike up four small steps. I breathed in deep as the cool morning air raced into my lungs. The birds were breaking out in a melodic conversation of anticipation as a new day was emerging. I stretched my hands up in the air over my head and then reached to the ground. My muscles revolted in the abrupt call to action. Excitement emerged as I thought about the new route that I mapped out the night before.
Straddling the bike, I made the final adjustments to my GPS and slipped my sunglasses off my helmet and secured them into place. I clipped my left shoe onto the peddle and proceeded to push off with my right. As I went to crank down on my right peddle, thrusting the bike forward in deliberate act power and pace, I forgot that it wasn’t clipped in yet. In a split moment, my unclipped foot slipped off the peddle thrusting my ankle over the chain and embedding my calf into the chain ring. Pain ricocheted throughout my entire body leaving me momentarily paralyzed in disbelief. I screamed . . . . Blood poured down my leg. I thought, “How could I have done something so thoughtless?” The logical decision was to walk back into the house, giving up on my ride. But I wasn’t in a logical mood. So I clipped back in. Pushed off. And cranked out my 20 mile ride.
Over the next 20 miles, every revolution caused excruciating levels of pain. Every revolution forced my focus and attention down to my right leg. Over the next 20 miles, every revolution reminded me of my careless decision.
PAIN’S INSUFFERABLE PERSISTENCE
Pain is uncomfortable, persistent, and creates mind numbing anxiety. It settles into your chest like the rhythmic pounding of a bass drum. You try to run from it, but it clings on to you with its steal fisted grasp. Ignore it? It refuses to release you. Every turn pain rears its head. At the most inopportune moments it slams right into your blind side. You try to drown it with every method your willing to try, but it refuses to dissipate. It patiently awaits until you to surface, then it pounces in precision and poignancy.
You listen to the good hearted preacher talk about the purpose of pain and that a loving God is with you in the pain. But you don’t sense that God is there. You hear someone share with you that a caring God won’t give you more than you can handle. But you are suffocating in pain’s unbearable weight. An author scripts well crafted words sharing that God will bear your burdens. But it feels like you are carrying it all by yourself.
PAIN’S INNATE PURPOSE
Maybe, just maybe . . .
- God desires you to experience the pain that you are experiencing right now.
- God’s path for you is to walk slowly through the trial that is wreaking havoc on your life.
- God needs you to go through what you are going through to get you to where He needs you to be. God knows what he is doing in you and through you.
The challenge is to look through the pain and embrace God’s sovereignty in the midst of pain.
I will hold onto David’s words when he wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”(Psalm 34:18) The reality is that we will go through seasons where our hearts are obliterated – where the pieces seems to be too small and too numerous to ever be pieced back together again. But the promise is that God is close and is walking right beside you.
- Trust that God is near! He will guide you through the dark valley that you find yourself wandering through.
- Blindly grasp onto Him, holding desperately to His voice. He will slowly lead you out.
- Lean into God’s strength. He will lift you up.
Today, take your eyes off of your pain. Even if it only for a brief moment, and simply say, “God, I need you. I can’t do this by myself.” At that moment, His peace will settle in – even if it is just for a moment. The pain might not dissipate, but you will know that the author of life will see you through. You might still walk with a limp, but you will know who is your deliverer. And maybe, just maybe…you will begin to embrace the pain.