Tears No More

I’m at a stage of life where there are so many tears. Having three children under the age of six can be rough. If I can keep the oldest child from causing the middle child pain, likewise the middle child from causing the baby pain, I consider that a pretty successful day. Honestly, this tired papa could use a lot more pain-free days. But pain-free days are for robots, I am a human.

The beginning to 2016 has been pretty rough on the pain front. There are so many people in my life who are going through tremendous pain. There are mothers burying their sons, sons burying their mothers and sisters standing by the gravesides of their brothers. Pain is going around breaking many hearts. God, please be our remedy.

Numbing The Pain

If you’re like me, you search for anything that can make life as pain-free as possible. In truth I think pain has a purpose but I consider it to be a really noisy neighbor who I just want to give a big “Shhhh!” It is a supreme temptation to build a life around pleasure, distraction and other pursuits to avoid pain. If we can avoid it we do, but even when we cannot, we at least want to numb it so that we can manage pain with as much ease as is possible. Whether it be “tear free” shampoo for my babies or a pain reliever to take away muscle soreness after soccer, I need to admit that all too often I am on a quest for a pain-free life. AND this is probably not the best use of my time. In fact pursuing a pain-free life may actually set me on a path that is one thousand miles from the path that Jesus trod.

Instead of mapping out our lives free of pain and suffering, we should consider it a far nobler pursuit to imitate the life of Christ. What can we learn by walking his path becoming acquainted with suffering, pain and grief? Is it possible that these realities are a useful part of our human existence? Maybe it’s best to consider them a form of divine communication; a reminder from God that things are not perfect here. Maybe the point of pain is to turn us away from the world we are so apt to embrace as a means to turn us to the God we so oft forget.

If there is something good to come from pain, its existence serves as a gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminder that the world we are in is not our permanent destination. There is much good in this world but our ultimate destination is to trade it for a world that is better. No, this is not just escapism, and I understand how it can be seen in this way. Christians have been accused of imitating the escape artist, Houdini. We know that we won’t be in this environment long so we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the place we are leaving. I believe that we have to have both feet planted firmly on the ground so that we can recognize roses have their beauty, but they also have thorns. Bees make honey, but sometimes you get stung. For every baby that is born another will die, and we are left with one questioning word, “Why?”

The truth is we humans are ill-equipped to answer that question. We are not utilitarian automatons built by a designer and left to our own devices. We are humans created to experience life. But rather then get lost in an endless cycle of existentialism, it is far more productive to focus our energy in another direction. Embracing life means embracing now. Now is filled with varied moments of extreme pleasure and dreadful discontent. Now is dynamic and marked with joy and pain, happiness and sorrow. All of these emotions are gifts and unwrapping them all enriches us and allows us to experience the fullness of being human.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Light and the Darkness - Nic Dunbar

Mind Over Matter - Madi Burnett

Faith and Doubt - Ross Thomson

Go! - Ross Thomson

A Good Investment - Bob Bentley

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Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

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