Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.
Day 12…this one won’t be fun. The topic is hurt and nobody likes to hurt.
Let me clarify, normal people do not like to hurt, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Hurt is to be avoided. Hurt is the opposite of how we want to feel. Unfortunately, this life includes hurt, whether we want it or not. I almost wrote “includes hurt at no charge”, but that would be completely wrong.
There is a price to pay for hurt. When we are hurt, regardless of whether we stub our toe, fail a test, lose a parent, or rebel against our God, we want to remove that hurt, as quickly and as “inexpensively” as possible. We want the quick relief, the deus ex machina, the miracle, to happen as soon as possible so we can go back to living life unencumbered by pain and hurt.
It rarely works that way. Bodily harm must have time to heal and may require rehabilitation. A failed test will weigh upon us until we can redeem ourselves at the next one. Losing a loved one…well that one never really goes away, but we learn to grieve, then cope, then move forward. Good news, though…
Rebelling against God, resulting in hurt and disappointment with ourselves, is much easier to recover from. When we realize what we have done and that feeling of hurt and disappointment washes over us and we wonder how we could have ever done what we did, all we need to do is turn back to the Lord and ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9). We do need to forgive ourselves and move forward, but before we even ask God to forgive us, it has already happened (Romans 4:25).
Does this mean we are free from consequences? Probably not. If we indeed rebelled and made poor choices, then we will most likely have to live with the results of those choices. We’re forgiven if we ask, but we still suffer.
But what about those times when things happen to us, through no fault of our own, that cause us to hurt? We might ask the question “if God loves us so much, why do we experience hurt?”. If we’re suffering and hurting from something that has happened to us, maybe, just maybe, God needs us to hurt for a while. This world we live in almost guarantees us we will hurt from time to time. Jesus laid it out very simply for the disciples in John chapter 16, verse 33.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Why does God need us to hurt? Maybe we are putting something in front of him and not keeping him the most important thing in our life. Maybe that thing needs to be taken away, ripped from our clutching hands, whether we knew we were grasping it inappropriately or not. Maybe we need to learn something. Maybe we need deeper faith, and nothing except having something, or maybe everything, stripped away will awaken that faith.
Whatever the reason for our hurt, we can have faith that God will uphold us, will guide us, and will never forsake us.
Thanks for reading to the end! Tomorrow, the topic will be about lions. It should be fun.