Saturday, September 26, 2009

Walking Toward The Pain

We had just a horrid morning. Every single one of the kids was insane. We’re replacing the carpets in three bedrooms and that of course means moving furniture and general chaos. Well, even a slight veering from the norm, like going on holidays is a big deal for two of the kids. They’ve lived through stuff that adults shouldn’t have to see. This moving of furniture and sleeping on the floor, which would be seen as exciting by most kids triggered huge Post Traumatic Stress reactions in these two guys. They had flash backs of violence and night terrors and high, high anxiety. Just like we were at a Turrets Syndrome conference or something, this craziness triggered reactions in the other kids as well. It's been terribly difficult. We’re all exhausted. This makes my wife quite a bit less than happy which makes me . . ., well, you know. I’d like to run away. And then I remember.

Ah me, life can be hard. I’m too old for this. My arthritis is too bad, Nobody else has to do this. We have enough money to do what we want and go where we want and - and here we are raising our second batch of kids. I sound like a little kid, making excuse after excuse for not doing that which has to be done. And then I remember.

I remember Jesus, my example, my role model, the One who said, follow Me. He didn’t run from what He came to do. We, the rest of humanity spend so much time trying to squirm out of our problems that we miss the learning that is supposed to take place within our problems. And then I remember.

I remember that I want to be like Jesus. I really do want to be like Jesus. And that’s good because when it’s all stripped away, the
‘Be merciful’
‘Be kind’
‘Be generous’ etc. when we’re down to the bottom line, God’s goal / intention for us is, “Be like Jesus.”

Romans 8:29 tells us that the whole reason we were called, predestined, chosen, and elected was to be transformed and conformed into the likeness of Jesus.

If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s this.
. If our goals match those of our Creator, life makes sense.
. When I want what my Creator wants, life becomes so much easier.
. When I do what God wants me to do, my life gets better.

So I walk toward the pain.
. Rather than avoiding these terribly damaged kids, I hold them.
. Rather than thinking why can’t my wife just handle this, I listen.
. Rather than hiding, I help.

I learned a long time ago (but still struggle to accept) that the pain, the difficulty, the sorrow and disappointment that is so much a part of this life is how God changes us into the kind of people who are able to mimic Jesus.

“He learned obedience through what He suffered.”

Suffering is not just a part of God's plan for us, it's a plan that He experienced to its fullest extent. Tragedy and loss, the things that satan uses to destroy us, God uses to mature us. The very things that drive atheists from God, God uses to draw to Himself those of us who have been designated for salvation.

And so I remember.

Don’t fight it. Go towards the pain. Sit with those who are sad. Hold those who need comforting. Listen to those who are frustrated beyond belief. Just do it. Life, all of life is meant to be lived and the only way to live life as it was meant to be lived is to die to self. I believe absolutely that when Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full,” He meant that we can have the quality of life that He experienced. Jesus showed us, by example, that we can step full on into the blast. We need not avoid any of life. We need not fear any of life. We can learn and grow and thrive in the midst of all of life, the easy and the difficult.

Good luck on your journey.

12 comments:

Leo B. Vadalà said...

Thanks. I needed that.

Gorth Satana said...

I better comment on this one because it's not filled with the usual hate.
So I guess it's a good post. :-)
Thanks.
"die to self" sounds very eastern...

While I don't agree with all of the post:
"Sit with those who are sad. Hold those who need comforting. Listen to those who are frustrated beyond belief. Just do it. Life, all of life is meant to be lived..."
is good.
Keep on truckin'

Makarios said...

I don't hate you Gorth. I don't hate any atheists. Mmm, well, I better be careful. The stuff I feel when I read Harris and Dawkins etc. is certainly not love.

Anyhow, I think atheism leads to a life that is absurd, meaningless, incoherent and illogical. Any atheist that believes h/her life does have ultimate meaning is blatantly lying to h/herself as s/he has stolen that meaning from Christian thought.

Now of course, highlighting the absurdities of atheism often gets mixed up with highlighting the absurdities of those who believe in it. I suppose that I could work harder at making sure that never happens but that's not likely to happen.

Gorth Satana said...

"I suppose that I could work harder at making sure that never happens but that's not likely to happen."

I've thought about it. Stay with the hate. Say what you really feel! If you want all the atheists locked into re-education camps, say so!
Go Go Go!

Makarios said...

That would be a waste of time and money.

Haven't you heard the warning?
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Gorth Satana said...

Fine, death camps?

Sarah said...

"I sound like a little kid, making excuse after excuse for not doing that which has to be done." Well as far as I know, we don't ever stop making excuses. We deflect rather than accept. I know I sure do.
"Don’t fight it. Go towards the pain." That statement seems to defy every instinct we have but yet in certain circumstances, it's true. Would you be the same person you are today if your life unfolded differently? I think not. Sure, you might have some parallels but not completely. "Sit with those who are sad. Hold those who need comforting. Listen to those who are frustrated beyond belief." I agree with this very much. I try practice this in my life from time to time, and I've realized it can reveal interesting and often rewarding results.

Rabhimself said...

I have to ask Mak, you claim you don't hate atheists - so why do you exhibit so much hatred?

Do you actually read what you say about atheists? You continually make false blanket statements that can be exceptionally distasteful and cruel. Some are just idiotic - in a way that would only make sense to someone who hates atheists.

As many of us have tried to tell you to no avail, the only thing you can say about atheists is that they don't believe in god(s).

Yet the filth that comes out of your motuh when you speak of atheists is often cringeworthy.

Why?

Abu Daoud said...

Rab,

I don't get that feel from Makarios' words. He's honest, but I find him to be respectful and indeed gentle. What example do you have in mind?

Makarios said...

Fine, death camps?

I know this is hyperbole - I think - but you are reading WAY too much into my words. I just sit here and debate. Nothing more. If someone gives me a "fuck you" I'm not very good at not returning in kind, but there is no ill intent from this end. Yes, atheism is just about the stupidest philosophy on the face of the earth, but someone has to be the stupidest :-)

JD Curtis said...

I think atheism leads to a life that is absurd, meaningless, incoherent and illogical. Any atheist that believes h/her life does have ultimate meaning is blatantly lying to h/herself as s/he has stolen that meaning from Christian thought.

Thanks for saying what was on my mind. It is almost as if they seized upon only certain explanations for the supposed non-existence of God. The ones that arent very good and the one's that have all been shot down before. All that before falling upon a pile of nothing more than what amounts to emotional pleas that do nothing WHATSOEVER to disprove the existence of God.

Rabhimself said...

Abu -

Either you clearly you haven't been reading this website for long, or you are very similar to Makarios.

Go look around for yourself, i'll start you off on the 'Peaceful Iran' post.

http://makarios-makarios.blogspot.com/2009/09/you-say-that-atheism-makes-up-its-own.html

That should really highlight the sort of derogatory rubbish that Makarios directs towards atheists when there is no valid ground for it.

If you disagree with this then please don't bother responding, i have enough debating with Mak as it is.

Thanks.