“We can trust that entering into places of pain, we will find the joy of Jesus. A new world grows out of compassion.”
— HENRI NOUWEN (1932–1996)
There is definitely a right way and a wrong way for meeting pain, and, because we are all destined to have to deal with pain in life, it’s best we meet the pain the right way and not the wrong way.
In the seclusion of pain,
Joy can be gained,
By trusting solely in Jesus,
In seeking His face,
And finding our place,
Eventual joy will seize us.
In the seclusion of our pain – which is that private place where no one else goes bar us – God meets us, via the tenderness of his Spirit to the perfect requirements we have that God knows all about. Pain is a private place where alone, with God, we reside, travel, meander in numbness at times, and do all sorts of other things that resonate with suffering.
In the seclusion of pain, God gets our attention. We might often think this mode of God seeking our attention is villainously applied; like, how could God allow the suffering to take place? It is allowed because God knows that in him we have all the resources to deal with the pain. At no time in life are we left to our own devices, without God. The irony regarding pain is that it is the invitation to growth – that or regression, which is not much of a choice. We grow with God or we recede into a hellish reality. Again, it’s not much of a choice.
But joy can be gained in stoically going about our business in the midst of our pain, by honestly acknowledging it in dealing with our grief, by accessing the compassion in God, who understands. God understands. Jesus suffered more than we can imagine; one of the purposes for which is empathy. We have God who knows our struggle more intimately than anyone could.
When we seek the Lord’s face we find we have finally found our place. And strange as it might seem, joy is available even in the midst of anguish due the Presence of God.
There is no true knowledge of God through Jesus Christ without some empathy of pain. God reaches us in our pain, but the comfortable life is foreign to the therapy of God. Consider pain to be the doorway to a joy only God can provide. Jesus’ compassion is known in the privacy of our deepest hurts, trials, and wounds.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.