“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
I’m learning something. This is not a fun lesson. It’s not easy and I don’t really want to hear what He is saying right now. But, I’m listening and learning. I used to run from pain, shut it all away deep down in some dark, cold place. Like so many bottles on shelves. I would put it away, seal it off and vow never to look at it, feel it, know it again.
That didn’t really work out for me very well. All the time I spent putting those things away, running from them, raging against them, I could have been seeking another direction, another path.
Instead, I chose seclusion, a temporary band-aid for my pain. Pain sucks, let’s just be honest. There are times when life just hurts and sometimes we’re angry about it and we don’t want to hear the well meaning types say stupid things like ‘Everything’s gonna be okay.’ It might not.
Jesus never told us life wouldn’t hurt. What He said was stay close to me. Walk in the light of my presence. Live a life of love and compassion for others. Love me with all you have. Sell out. Take up your cross and follow me.
What I’m learning isn’t to avoid pain, not to put life in bottles on dusty shelves. If you are going to really live a real life, you will feel pain. This will hurt a little. Sometimes a lot.
What I am learning is to run to Jesus. When it seems like all is lost. When we can’t do this, when we’re afraid, when it hurts. Run to Him.
I told Him recently how afraid I am to surrender to Him, how intimidated I am by what He says to me. I told Him how much some of this hurts. And I can just see Him, in my mind, sitting there looking at me while I say this to Him. Pouring my heart and soul out, crying and telling Him how this feels. He smiles at me with tears in His eyes and says, “I know. I feel your pain and fear with you. I am here.” Then, His hand reaches out and touches my shoulder and I can feel the warmth of His embrace, His passion for me.
Whatever pain you feel, however dark it seems at times, take it to Him. He might not bail you out right now. He might make you wait like He’s making me wait. You may find He has something to teach you that you cannot learn if you rush in, abandon the process.
But know this: His heart for you is good, His will is sovereign and His love undying. Wherever this leads, whatever path you travel in life, seek His face, ask for His heart. Run to Jesus. You will find, as I am, the journey is not always easy but it is worthwhile.