Love and Thanksgiving

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I’ve never really been in pain, proper all out physical pain. I broke my teeth 20 years ago falling of my bike, but it was a long time ago. I think the adrenaline and shock masked a lot of the pain and the years have forgotten the rest.

I fought with my brother growing up, but again, it was so long ago I don’t remember how it hurt. I’ve sprained ankles, bruised hips, been hit by hockey balls, fallen and grazed knees, I broke a toe the day before my graduation, I’ve had stomach bugs and flu which has left my body aching all over. I’ve had tension headaches, hang nails and my fair share of heartache.

At the time the pain was all consuming. I could think of nothing else.

The last week or so I’ve been praying for insight into what it was like for Jesus on the cross, for understanding of what it meant for You to send Your Son to die for me, an unworthy sinner who regularly forgets Your sacrifice, repeats the same mistakes, often intentionally, who places too much focus and value on my own life, expectations and ideas and not enough on Yours.

I feel inexperence in true pain and find it hard to understand the hugeness of Your gracious sacrifice.

I’m not asking to experience pain and suffering in order to gain a glimpse of what You did on the cross. What I could endure would not be selfless anyway. It would reek of self pity, of hatred for the causes of it, a selfish yearning for it to be over as quickly as possible – regardless of what is acheived when it is finished.

I would hide away my suffering at the time and pretend it’s not so bad. There would be no victorious standing on a hill top. I would complain about my lot, about the cup I’d been given, searching for ways to dull the pain and make it less difficult. I’d want everyone to know how much pain I had been in and soak up the sympathy. My story would be embellished for dramatic effect, to gain support for the injustice of it all.

You gave up Your life for people who didn’t care. You suffered in agony for me. You were tortured and humilated to redeem all that I have done and will do, even the intentional stuff.

Father, I am totally incapable of comprehending the depth of Your pain or the depth of Your love…

Psalm 136v1
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

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