The last few nights, as I’ve bathed Josiah and dressed him before bed, I can’t help but revel in his little banged up legs.
They tell of climbing mountains, traversing rocky paths, conquering giants…a little boy on an amazing journey to becoming a man. Childhood at its finest.
I think of the days when scrapes, cuts, and bruises only slowed me down enough to get iodine and bandages applied (If you’ve ever had iodine poured on an open wound, you KNOW pain). My friends and I built bike ramps out of scrap wood and cinder blocks, roller-bladed down steep hills, and ran barefoot across steaming concrete and grass full of bees. It was glorious and so worth the pain. I wonder if I’ll ever feel as alive as I did then.
Looking at Josiah’s knees makes me wonder at what point in our lives do we start avoiding pain. Somewhere between bruised shins and adulthood we learn to pad ourselves from or totally avoid all sorts of hurt. Not everyone of course, but I would venture to guess that most adults don’t run barefoot across hot gravel willingly.
But there are so many things in life worth enduring pain. Ask any woman who has endured labor to birth her beautiful children. Ask the athlete who won the gold, the doctor who endured medical school and saved a life, the couple that overcame the odds to restore a broken marriage, the cancer patient who endured treatments and survived, the dad with calloused hands who works day in and day out to provide for his family, the family who intervenes in the life of a drug addicted loved one. Nothing worth having comes with ease.
Just ask Jesus.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NASB).
The joy set before Him is YOU. Jesus endured the cross to save YOU, ME, and anyone who is willing to come to Him in faith. Romans 3:23 tells us that we’ve ALL sinned. We all need a savior, and despite the ultimate pain of taking our sin upon Himself and being separated from His Holy Father, Jesus died a criminal’s death for us. With His death, He said that we are worth the pain.
As we enter this holiday weekend, let us not forget how deeply Jesus hurt for us. His longing for our redemption led Him to crucifixion. Having His children for eternity was worth our Father’s heart breaking.
But that isn’t the end of the story. Praise be to God, Jesus overcame the grave! Pain wasn’t the end, but the avenue to LIFE. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?…But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57, NIV).
You can have life in Christ, and if you don’t, I beg you to seek Him. It may not be easy to open up your heart for God to change and heal you, but He can free You from your fear. He will sustain you through trial. He will save you from eternity in Hell. Life is full of pain, but LOVE and LIFE are worth the risk. Won’t you come? Surrender your heart, share in Jesus’ death, and be raised to life with Him!
If you need help finding life in Jesus, I will walk with you. Please don’t be afraid to ask. If you know someone who hasn’t met the Savior, please share this message with them. And have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!