Yesterday morning I was sitting in my church’s 6 a.m prayer service, and I was thinking about how all these people were up and functioning at 6 a.m. just to come to church and pray over the needs of others. People they more than likely don’t even know. I try not to ever wake up before the sun, and I especially don’t do it unless I have to. I was so overwhelmed by the love that I felt from each of those people gathered. I watched them pour their hearts out over prayer cards of adults and children. I began wondering why they were doing that…and it hit me…they know what real pain feels like.
We’ve all gone through situations where we face something we don’t know how to handle. We have all experienced pain and suffering, and its because we know what it feels like that we go the extra mile for others in that situation.
As I was pondering this I was reminded of a passage I had just read in my most favorite book, The Shack. If you haven’t read this book, stop what you are doing immediately, download it, banish all people from your presence, and don’t put the book down until you have finished it. Because holy bananas… its amazing.
Anyway, The Shack is about a guy Mac who goes through an unimaginable situation full of pain. He gets to visit with God, known in the book as Papa, and as they are talking about pain Papa says this:
“There are millions of reasons to allow pain and hurt and suffering rather than eradicate them, but most of those reasons can be understood only within each person’s story. I am not evil. You are the ones who embrace fear and pain and power and rights so readily in your relationships. But your choices are also not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every good choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome.”
I can’t describe to you the freedom in that one statement when you really grasp it.
There is always going to be pain. This world is so broken. And your pain BREAKS Papa’s heart. Papa never intended for the world to be this way. Papa never intended for us to treat each other they way we do. The world we live in was not and is not the result of anything Papa did. It IS the result of choices the human race has made.
BUT the hope is this. Jesus. Jesus came to redeem the world, and one day we will see what was originally intended and its going to be so wonderful.
In the mean time, what we have is that we know the character of our Papa. I will be the first to say that I haven’t always been very good at this. It’s easy to blame an all powerful God for our problems and our pain…because He could prevent it right?
We get so justified about what we feel like we deserve. When really…we don’t deserve anything. Papa’s plan was for us to be totally unified in love. Not power, rights, or entitlement.
There is so much pain in this world…but you don’t have to hold on to it. It doesn’t have to rule you. Jesus gave you the choice to let it go, and accept His grace and love.
Let it go. There is no beauty in darkness. Its just dark, and ugly.
The beauty is in the freedom and love of Jesus.
Cling to Him my friends…His plan is perfect, and He will accomplish it.