“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, GRACE also might rein through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Last February I went into the hospital with enough pain to cause a grown man to cry, and enough morphine was used to put out a large horse to no avail of numbing that pain. All tests came back inconclusive. This past Sunday morning I went back with the same pain. Sitting in my wheelchair waiting to be taken back to my room I screamed loudly for God to take the pain. Brian, of course, was at a loss. He had no clue what to do with my writhing. However, Brian was so steadfast and stayed by my side no matter what. Sweat began to drench my body as I sat helpless and unable to do anything for the pain. I just cried. My body shook. That’s all I could do. All I could do is beg God to take the pain. To take it quickly.
They began to wheel me back to my room to try and give some respite with morphine. They began the IV and for a split second I was hopeful that I would be given some sort of comfort. They started me with 8 milligrams of morphine and within 4 hours I had been given 14 milligrams. My blood pressure was too low for them to give me anymore pain medicine, and the pain still did not subside. That’s when I knew that all I could do is cry out to the One who created this body. Who knew what was happening. “LORD YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. I TRUST YOU. GOD… YOUR GRACE IS SUFFICIENT”. That’s all I could pray.
Then the doubt came. Does He hear me? Does He know I’m in pain? Why isn’t He doing anything? Why is this happening? I sat for what seemed like forever, hoping, waiting, for the morphine to kick in. It never did. Tests were ran. No answers. Nothing. Conclusion?
I am so quick to be disobedient to God in my suffering. He, the perfect, the One whose fullness is given to make me see, to make me righteous, to give me fullness…HE was obedient. He was perfectly joyful in His obedience even when that obedience meant that His body was broken, beaten, reviled. Even when that obedience meant that He must endure the most intense of all emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational pain any human ever had to walk through. And He was PERFECTLY obedient.
Here I am, in my minuscule human pain on the brink of disobedience because I had to suffer… and yet… He was obedient. Hear the prayer of the Puritan:
“Oh God. Thou hast taught me that Christ has all fullness and so all plenitude of the Spirit, that all fullness I lack in myself is in Him, for His people, not for Himself alone, He having perfect knowledge, grace, righteousness, to make me see, to make me righteous, to give me fullness; that is my duty, out of a sense of emptiness, to go to Christ, possess, enjoy His fullness as mine, as if I had it in myself, because it is for me in Him.”
This is my Jesus. Suffering yet obedient. Pouring out His fullness, His knowledge, His grace, His righteousness…for me. That’s my Jesus.
So, with pain and suffering what must my answer be? Obedience.
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- that I may know Him and power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead”.