“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
I don’t care about the specifics of any trial, test, tribulation, harsh circumstance one faces…it is a Pain. More than not, it is a Royal Pain. It isn’t a minor Pain, or else we probably do not even think about it.
I dislike pain. Can you relate?
Yet, there seems to be all sorts of pain in our lives. Some of it is physical, some of it is relational, some of it is emotional, I’m sure you can name some more descriptors.
Darren couldn’t sleep last night. At the most, he would go down for about an hour. We thought it might be due to teething. There seems to be quite a bit of discomfort with teething, some pain…if you will. As any good parent, I didn’t desire my child to go through pain. Who does? So, I gave him some Infant Tylenol.
Did I mention he kept waking up, crying every hour or so?
So much for the pain killer.
Lorie tried to calm him the first half of the evening, then it was my turn. My job is more forgiving than her’s, so I sent her to bed and took my place next to my son. It turns out that only one thing gave him any sort of peace…that was laying on his daddy. I’m sure you’ve seen, or even done it before. You lay down, and your child lays right on top of you. Chest to chest, praying that he doesn’t knee you where it hurts the most. I’m sure you get the picture.
There we were, laying on an extra twin bed that we have in the baby room. He has adjusted himself many times, and finally gets to that most relaxing position. He is blissfully unaware…that his shoulder is jammed up against my throat.
Yet, my child is not crying. My child is sleeping, resting upon my chest. As a dad, I’m in heaven. Err…well, almost heaven. I’m sure that heaven won’t include that constant choking feeling of something hard and pointy jammed into my throat. But again, you get the picture.
There we laid, for the next five hours or so until morning came. I suffered because my child needed rest. Was it a test? No, I don’t think so. Was it a trial? I’m still trying to figure out what that means in a biblical sense. Was it a pain? Oh my, yes!
I think of two things.
First, there are times when we must suffer through the pain. We must persevere. It isn’t that we triumph over it. Heck, we might just be lucky enough to last through it. We aren’t guaranteed a present victory, just a future hope. So, I hope to teach my son that some things are worth suffering through. No, pain is never pleasant. But, pain can be outlast.
Secondly, it makes me think of what my Lord did for me, so that I may rest in him. We are his children. We have pain of varying degrees. Some of us seem to have more existential anxt than others, but boy is it there. We need rest, rest in the only one that can truly give it to us. I am positive that his suffering to provide that rest to us goes far beyond our present circumstance.