Pain And Beauty

Bloody nose and burning eyes
Raised in laughter to the skies
I’ve been in trouble but I’m ok
Been through the wringer but I’m ok
Walls are falling and I’m ok
Under the mercy and I’m ok
~ Bruce Cockburn

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
~William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 8

Oh beloved, it is true. We – if we truly live – are in pain. We ache for so many things, yet to be realized. And we hurt in reality because of so many other reasons.

People we miss
Injuries to our soul
Injuries to our bones
Injuries to our friends
Injuries to our lives
Things that will never work out.

We are whole, but we are not yet complete. It is difficult to describe. We would not have it any other way than the way we are living right now. It is just that … we hurt. Actually, we groan.

We groan at
our failures
our losses
our hopes
our calling
our timing
our pain
our doubts
our desires for forever

Oh, we know that everything is going to be alright. In fact, it already is. We just miss something that we have not yet even seen but from the vista of our inner man. We know that we are heading towards a beauty and a place that is so far beyond our imaginations now, that it actually is painful to consider.

We have felt the cool wind on our face as we look out over green pastures so lush as to overload the senses of a sensible person.

We have heard the laughter of our King at a table bursting with beautiful drink and food and Love.

We have been enveloped in the quiet of deep eternity. We have looked back from there and wondered why we ever worried… But, to have not yet reached this place sets our spirits to yearning.

We have seen the wardrobe of our future positions. Clothing so lush and powerful that we now feel naked.

We have listened to the flag of The Kingdom whip in the winds atop the flagpoles of Jerusalem.

Can we see it? We have looked into His eyes in our spirits. And… we now have an ache in our heart that will not be healed until we see Him face to face.

So, are you in pain beloved? You may be exactly where you need to be. Let it hurt. Let it drive you towards the beauty.

Tonight is your night. Time to live in pain.

God is a Master Artist. And there are aspects of your life and character—good, quality things—he wants others to notice. So without using blatant tricks or obvious gimmicks, God brings the cool, dark contrast of suffering into your life. That contrast, laid up against the golden character of Christ within you, will draw attention… to him. Light against darkness. Beauty against affliction. Joy against sorrow. A sweet, patient spirit against pain and disappointment—major contrasts that have a way of attracting notice. You are the canvas on which he paints glorious truths, sharing beauty, and inspiring others. So that people might see him.
~Joni Eareckson Tada

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