No Pain – No Gain? maybe


Today, I started getting anxious about 9 am. Not from coffee overdose,  but thinking through what the rest of my day would include. There were some common things like reaching out to first time attenders and folks who just started following Jesus. There was a pre-marriage assessment with a great couple. There was even the friendly banter around the office while we go over a big weekend at church. This stuff generally gets me excited about life. So none of that was what made me anxious, it was knowing that at 1:30 I was going to let someone stick a giant (not really) needle in my ankle.

This was not the first time this has happened. Like anything else we dread, we think about it until it becomes a huge deal! While dealing with arthritis I have had many needles stuck in my ankle. The doctor puts in some magic goo that in theory will take away pain for a few months. The problem is, in order to get that long term pain relief, I will have to go through the feeling that there is a needle pushing on bones and only stopping when it cannot go any further. It is a horrible sensation to me, and I am assuming to most non crazy people! I usually end up holding my breath (which doesn’t help, it might even make it worse) and somehow trying to will the needle out of my ankle. The long term result is what gets me to sign time and time again.

The same thing goes with whatever we consider a painful spiritual discipline. For some people reading is not natural, or talking to Jesus or skipping some meals. These can seem painful to some just starting out. We forget that it isn’t the short term gain that is at stake, it is the long term life work we are doing that is going to make the difference. Skipping a meal for Jesus isn’t so that we lose a pound this week, it is so that we can get control of our carnal urges. Bible reading isn’t just to have a slick quote while trying to show our spirituality badge, it’s to hide the word of God in our heart and build a reserve of wisdom and faith. It’s the well of power that can get us through great and terrible times. I would also comment that it can take terrible times and make them better because we are more secure in our Jesus. Bible reading, not natural to me. I fall off the wagon a lot, but the more I do it the more I enjoy it. The more you do it, the more you will miss it when it is not a regular part of your day.  Soon the things you once found foreign will be second nature to who you are.

Build now what you want to become, it might seem painful and unnatural, but it is always worth becoming the best you that you can become. It is only hard work until you get used to it and find out that Jesus had everything under control the whole time. Wayne Gretzky said it best “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.


Comments are closed.