“I don’t like you anymore!”
Can you hear it? My heart breaking? The outcry against this sucker punch to the soul?
After being cast out of Eden due to our own rebel rhythm, we were plunged feet-first into brokenness. It taints everything, and it’s impossible to escape life unscathed. We’ve all been wounded. We all wound.
There is good news, though: the God who was broken to fix our brokenness has come to bring redemption, and it invades the darkness like an army of light. So now even the saddest moments lose their sting because the Lord is the ultimate victor here. He has no rival. Each second of suffering is met with His incomprehensible capacity to heal, satisfy, hold, and strengthen.
Our stories need trials to be worth telling. (Seriously, when’s the last time you watched a movie you loved where nothing hard happened to the main character?) And the one story in the world most worth telling involved the worst things happening to the best character imaginable. God beat down. Humanity lashed out. And the One who was both endured the excruciating agony of the full force of history on His soul. For you. And for me. Because of the pain, we have a story to tell that brings life.
I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.
I know it’s a tender thing to look at the pieces of your story you wish weren’t there. The sickness, the rejection, the abuse, the harmful coping mechanisms. I know.
But you don’t have to look at those pieces alone.
Will you allow Jesus to sit with you, singing hope and healing over those bruises on your heart? Would you welcome the Spirit to soothe your exhausted mind? Let your Daddy bring His power into the darkness of your past?
It rains on all of us; that’s the human condition. But the Christian condition is that we’re never without shelter. Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” It’s going to rain. But the downpour is an invitation for us to enter God’s active presence.
And when the rain clears and the mist rises and the sky burns out a brilliant blue, He’ll flutter those wings off of your head to get a good look at you. Then you’ll work through the tangle of feathers together until He turns your mess into a message—a message that will help others who don’t know to seek refuge under this glorious refuge of a God.
Until one day when we all huddle together under our Savior and sing the beautiful song of healed wounds, a thrilling chorus of His triumph over us.
Pain is the key that unlocks human hearts to one another. It’s the secret password to move beyond the “I’m fine, how are you?” of the typical Sunday morning. A break in ourselves is how Jesus gets through, out into the open. Sarah Bessey says it like this: “I’m determined to share [this small offering] with you, to put it out unfinished, imperfect. Leonard Cohen writes that there is a crack in everything—that’s how the light gets in. And hallelujah, I also think it’s how the light gets out.” Let’s let the light out.
What painful story might you be able to tell in order to bring life?