Thoughts on Pain

I’ve been thinking of my life in terms of conflict lately; it is really hard for me to look at the reports of the ISIS terrorists and how they execute Christians, and others, merely for what they believe. I wonder if, given the chance, would I be able to stand up for my beliefs, even in the face of death?

Sometimes I wonder if a better question would be if I actually believe what I say I believe, about how I believe in God and how Jesus came to save me from my sin, to the point where I could die for it.

I greatly admire the men and women who have that courage, that conviction. I don’t know if I could do it. Especially now that I have children. But I don’t know if I wouldn’t do it, either.

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I have my doubts. I have my fears. Among the many battles we face, I think doubt and fear have to be the worst adversaries. They cripple you from the inside out and shut you down.

Pain is hard for me to face willingly. Conflict is hard for me to face, too. I’ve been in places where things just don’t seem to add up, and it’s hard to think it will all get better. I’ve had those dark nights alone and weeping, wondering if anyone could hear me, and if so, why I was still left alone. Sometimes I’ll be awake for hours at night, unable to sleep, because of the darkness not just around me, but the darkness that’s burrowed its way into my heart.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that the conflict people over in Iran and Iraq face a challenge equal to my own, with ISIS out to get them. I think the same thing about sin, though: Sin is sin, and no sin is greater than any other sin, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking I’m not in as bad shape as so-and-so who did this terrible awful thing, while I only did this sort-of-hardly-bad-at-all thing.

Maybe all pain is equal in the eyes of God, too. It wouldn’t be a far stretch; after all, no matter what pain it is, he is still capable of healing it.

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