Life is Pain

Our family enjoys watching movies together and inevitably quoting those movies frequently. Our favorite quotable movie is “The Princess Bride”. If you have seen the movie, you will understand this. “As you wish”, “Inconceivable”, “You warthog faced buffoon”, “Think they’ll make it?” “Unless I am wrong and I am never wrong” and “Get used to disappointment” are just a few of the lines we repeat often.

This morning as I was reading through a devotional from “New Morning Mercies” by Paul Tripp, I was reminded of another quote from the movie- “Life is pain.” In his February 19th devotional, Tripp states this:

Right here, right now, God isn’t so much working to deliver to you your personal definition of happiness. He hasn’t promised you… a community of people who appreciate you. What he has promised you is himself, and what he brings to you is the zeal of his transforming grace.

I know this to be true, but over the past decade, I have been lulled into believing that being surrounded by a community that appreciates you IS normal and to be expected. We have been blessed by a church that has loved us well, that has appreciated my husband’s gifts and has been patient with him in his weaknesses. Looking back over the past decade, I realize that I had become proud of the community we were a part of. We were growing and thriving and we were committed to the glory of God.

Pride is an insidious thing, sneaking in without you even realizing that it is there. But God is in the business of transforming us into his likeness which means there is no room for pride in our hearts. And when we pray that the Lord would transform us and make us like himself, he will.

If I could put a title on the past few years, it would be “life is pain”. It has been a season of the Lord weeding out the pride in my heart and taking away all of the security I had come to expect. It has been painful as all refining is. My people pleasing heart has been bruised and battered. My husband feels like twenty years have been sucked from his life. We have walked through the fire (swamp), but what we have discovered is that God’s promises are completely true. He is faithful. He has walked with us every step of the way. He has stripped us of many of the friends we had thought we would never lose, yet we have God himself and a deeper trust that he will never leave us or forsake us.

After reading the devotional, I read the scripture passage that Tripp shared. As I read James 1:12, I felt like God had prepared this moment just for me. The verse says this, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.” My “one word” for 2020 was “steadfast”. I learned more about God’s steadfast love for me than I ever would have imagined and in the process, he taught me to remain steadfast in my love for him and my love for others. I no longer expect others to return that love. It is enough for me that God loves me with an always and forever love.

The truth is that life IS pain, but this life is not the end of our story if we trust God with our lives. We have the hope of eternity spent with him where there is no more pain, no more lies, no more heartbreak, no more betrayals, no more pride.

Life is pain. But God is faithful!

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