My friend, may I ask you a question? As Christians, is it good to be reminded that the effort to forgive is never without some sacrifice? Is there such a thing as good pain when we sacrifice for others, putting ourselves in a position to be hurt in order to help them gain their objective?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
I have an odd habit of reciting this little passage: “Pain is good, pain is good” whenever I have to do something physical that takes an extra effort on my part. This is especially true when that something physical is done for someone else. For example, years ago I helped Holly move a dresser up a flight of stairs from the guest room to the attic. That meant climbing the stairs and then negotiating a myriad of boxes and other unfortunate obstacles in the attic in order to finish the job. I knew that she felt bad about the fact that the dresser was heavy, but there simply was nowhere else to put it. So, “pain is good, pain is good.” I muttered to myself as I slowly ascended the living room stairs to the attic entrance. In some small way it made me feel good about doing something good for Holly. In that sense, it was “good” pain.
As Christians, is it good to be reminded that the effort to forgive is never without some sacrifice? Is there such a thing as good pain when we sacrifice for others, putting ourselves in a position to be hurt in order to help them gain their objective?
Here’s a thought from Albert Quie: “The man I ate dinner with tonight killed my brother.” The words, spoken by a stylish woman at a Prison Fellowship banquet in Seattle, amazed me. She told how John H. had murdered her brother during a robbery, served 18 years at Walla Walla, then settled into life on a dairy farm, where she had met him 20 years after his crime. Compelled by Christ’s command to forgive, Ruth had gone to her enemy and pronounced forgiveness. Then she had taken him to her father’s deathbed, prompting reconciliation. But at that banquet last fall, his voice cracked as he said, ‘Christians are the only people I know that you can kill their son, and they’ll make you a part of their family. I don’t know the Man Upstairs, but He sure is hounding me.’ As Christ died for us regardless of our actions, so Ruth forgave John without qualification. Even more so, she became his friend.” (Albert H. Quie, President of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Jubilee, p. 5)
Edwin Orr writes: “When you are shown mercy, someone must pay, and the one who shows mercy is the one who suffers.” In a way that’s really like that little phrase I like to utter when I’m dealing with “good” pain. It’s a matter of looking past the pain of putting forth the effort, of sucking it up, offering the best we can give and being content even when it hurts. God never said forgiving others would be painless. In fact, the example he gives us of his own dear Son, dying the painful death he did in order for you and I to find forgiveness, is the best example there is of the price of true mercy. So, the next time you’re faced with forgiving someone who you’d rather curse, tell yourself it may be painful, but ultimately, the “pain is good, the pain is good.”
We pray. Heavenly Father, we praise you for your grace. By you we are raised out of the muck and mire to find a new home in your Kingdom. With that raising there is often pain, good pain that has a purpose despite its inconvenience or hardship. There will come moments in our lives when all we can do is call on you. We thirst for your mercy Lord, please hear our prayer. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.