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I don’t like pain. It makes me grumpy, distracted, and it messes up my plans. But pain is in my life, in all of our lives, because sin is in our lives. Not the “naughtiness” idea of sin, but rather the rejection, the disdain, the spurning of the pure, free, brilliant life offered by God. 

I want to avoid (ideally, eliminate) my pain and suffering, so I seek and pursue what, in this world, appears to offer the opposite – though I’ll settle for neutral if I can get it. All the while, the one who conceived of my heart and entire being – who gave everything and suffered more than I am capable of fully understanding to rescue me from the doom I ignored – he calls to me, draws me into his strong arms to rest and be restored. He calls out for me to follow him, to walk with him, to learn to see reality without running away, to enjoy his love, and to love him. Painlessness is not part of the invitation but the promised reality when this world is in my past; in fact, I’m warned there are unavoidable agonies ahead. 

It’s a little bit like physical therapy. If you’ve ever had the experience, pain from therapeutic routines can rival the pain of the injury that made them necessary.  Some might even say they are worse since they continue on excruciatingly for minutes or hours.  Still, there is no compromise or easier alternative route; the truth is, healing hurts. As unpleasant and merciless as physical therapy feels, it is the only real path to restoring the injured part of the body.

Jesus is all about restoring me, undoing the damage that’s been done to his creation.  While I walk with him, he sets about removing the poisonous slivers in my mind and soul that have accumulated over the years, carving away disease and healing me. And when I cringe and grit my teeth and cry out at the deep cuts from his hand, pleading with him to end it, to deliver me from the pain, he weeps and tenderly sings his love while he kisses my wounds.  In time, the dark squall of loss and suffering begins to recede, and still I hear his intimate words and feel his heartbeat.  He stays, holding me as light returns, and I can finally see that he truly is raising me to life. 

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Confessing to God is the beginning, not the end, of facing reality. Our relationship has been scorched by my sin, erecting a barbed wire fence blocking any reunion and bloodying me in the attempt. But confession makes healing and restoration possible, and it can be done anytime, anywhere, alone or with another.


It’s like a garden hose with a nozzle on the end. The water (Holy Spirit) is on and the pressure is in the hose (calling me to repent so we can be intimate again). God’s desire to be close to me is plain and consistent, yet there is no restoration, no release. But when my desire joins his; when I am finally willing to look at the truth of my action and I confess, acknowledging reality, my surrender opens the nozzle and lets pure, clean water flow over my wounds, and healing begins. 

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”  – Psalm 32: 3-5

Scripture Taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION

Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

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