Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Pain That God Accepts...

I had a few tough days in a row. I'm down to the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy, and the past few days were tough physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually...

This morning I read 2 Corinthians 7:6 which says:

"But God, who comforts the downcast...."

And I thought, "Hey, if God comforts the downcast, and the bible says He cannot lie... Then I can EXPECT Him to comfort me today!!!" But still, somehow I really didn't feel any better after that. In fact, I felt much worse. But as the day went by, I spent some time in prayer on my walk/jog (it was a noisy, noseblowing kind of prayer); I took my children to the park and read from a Joyce Meyer book ("Reduce Me to Love"); I listened to the book of Proverbs on cd in my car as we drove... and over the course of the day, I did feel comforted. I went from feeling hopeless, to believing that THERE REALLY IS HOPE !! Hallelujah!

I also read 2 Corinthians 7:10 which says:

"For the pain God accepts produces repentance not to be regretted, leading to salvation; but the pain of the world produces death."

And I thought about how if I lay in my bed feeling overwhelmed, or if I lock myself in the bathroom and cry, or if I give way to any number of the negative thoughts that were coming against my mind, then I am giving way to a "worldly sorrow"- a sorrow that is selfish, because it is based only on me, and what I feel. It's a sorrow based only on whether or not I have been treated justly, or whether or not others have considered me, or whether or not I feel pain or discomfort, or happiness...

But the "pain that God accepts" would be the kind of pain experienced when I choose to forgive, and I choose to love anyway, and I choose to think about how the other person feels, even when I have my own unmet needs. It is the pain of putting sin aside when its temporary benefits look like they would offer me a brief relief from this "pain that God accepts". I think this "acceptable pain" must be the pain of PUTTING SELF ASIDE rather than focusing on how "terrible it is for self".

And sometimes that isn't fun, but whenever we lay ourselves down, it is a seed! It produces that beautiful fruit of JOY! Which is unattainable by focusing on how bad things are for "ME".