As I sit here with my tall Starbucks coffee, I am reflecting on a painful experience that I will never forget.
One night I was in bed and told my wife I was having sharp pains. I told her that I was going to try and make it to the bathroom. I stood up and instantly the pain made me fall to the floor. I was on my knees grabbing the side of the bed. I did not want to move.
After realizing I was not going to move without help, my wife decided to take me to the emergency room. I laid across the back seat of our car. I felt every hole, crack, and bump in the road. I felt like this pain would never go away.
I remember being in the emergency room and wishing that I could sleep. I thought the pain was bad enough to make me pass out on my own. Eventually, I was told that I had a kidney stone.
That was the most intense pain that I have ever been in. After I was given a couple shots of morphine, I finally was able to rest.
My worst pain is nothing compared to what Jesus experienced when He went to the cross.
I know now that was part of my share of suffering. That pain in my life is something that God can redeem and use for His glory.
I cannot fathom what it would feel like to be flogged and have shards of glass and bone rip at your flesh till your guts were hanging out.
I do not know what it feels like to have to walk up a hill carrying the crossbeam of a cross across my back after losing so much blood and being dehydrated.
I have never had someone purposefully hold me down and literally drive huge nails into my hands and feet.
I don’t know what it is like to hang on a cross, fighting for every breath you take and feeling like your skin (or what’s left of it) bake in the sun.
I do not know what it feels like when it seems that literally the world has abandoned you.
What I do know is this:
Your pain whether physical or emotional can wreck you if you let it. It can cause you to believe things about yourself that are far from the truth.
Let the pain drive you to Jesus.
When you reflect on that painful experience, remember that we have a Savior that has suffered far more than we will ever imagine. He can sympathize with you. Jesus is our Redeemer, Creator, Sustainer, Healer, and Friend.
Exchange the pain for Jesus. The pain brings up feelings of misery and despair. Jesus is our hope and our joy. Go ahead. Give your pain to Jesus. You get joy in return. You do not have to struggle with your pain on your own. Give it all to Jesus.