When I sink down to my knees in pain it can often be the easiest time to write.
Agony and heartache have a peculiar and lovely way of procuring something important and powerful.
They have the ability, quite frequently, to drive a person to desperation and realization. Largely, they can have the ability to drive a person straight into the ground to where they must face their true love.
True love as in the thing or person that really is the center. The love above all loves for them. The “True Love” of their life. And if that thing is taken, then they have nothing. And if the agony and heartache is because that True Love was snatched, burned up, or destroyed, it makes the person face a frightening reality: finiteness. And, more frightening than even that, perhaps, is the reality of their trust in what was finite. The realization of that reality is come upon and discovered as the agony and heartache set in.
And if their True Love is still there in the midst of the pain and the heartache, then, “How long will it be?” they might ask. Or, as they turn to it, their True Love has not the means or the capability to help them in their desperate need, and thus the nature of their True Love is revealed.
Agony and suffering can be a sort of saving grace of God, then. For, as the person sinks to his knees, God might come and make known to him his emptiness. God might make known to him his most desperate problem, though what he faces may seem at first more desperate still.
But slowly, or perhaps even quickly, an overwhelming sense might take a person captive as their parent’s death seems so much less important. Or, as the foreclosure of their home, or losing their job, or being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer gradually becomes a distant thing, they might focus upon something even more urgent. Then it might seem so sudden, that their sin is before them, all their wicked, evil ways. As the lawlessness of their very self, the wretchedness of their own heart and being, become so very clear to them, God might regenerate their heart and they might repent.
As all this comes rushing into their face and confronts them, they might hear of one Who was punished for them. They might hear of one they had hated, whether consciously or not, and beg Him for mercy because He is merciful. They might recognize the utter hopelessness of themselves and trust in anything else, even trust in their True Love. They might recognize this and hear also then the words:
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.Isaiah 55:2
‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.Isaiah 55:6-7
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.Isaiah 1:18
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9
For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’Romans 10:13
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.Romans 8:1
And in their utter brokenness and hopeless condition, the love of Christ might be revealed, and the power of God made manifest, and “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16).
For the believer, for the son or daughter of God already saved by His mighty power, pain can bring us to our knees in praise. It can bring us to a place where we glorify God in our realization of His power and how He is the only One we can truly trust. We might be reminded in those times of how desperately we do need Him. Furthermore, the Scriptures say:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.Romans 8:18
In our pain and heartache, may we be turned to our True Love if it is Christ, or may we be turned away from our True Love if it is anything other than Christ. May we turn away if it is anyone or anything other than the Son of God, God eternal, the Atonement for the sins of man, the only true God and the One who was made “to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ is our great hope and salvation.
If we are His children we are dearly loved and watched over unceasingly by our Father.
To God be the glory forever and ever. Through pain and heartbreak, through joy and gladness, He reigns and He is good. May He be praised forevermore and forevermore. Blessings to you, my brothers and sisters, and all glory to God. Amen.
All direct verse quotations are taken from the ESV
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