Pain Isn’t Gong Away, It’s Being Redeemed
There isn’t going to be a cosmic sweeping under the rug.
On that final day, when we stand before God, He’s not going to wave a wand to wipe away the broken, humiliation of our human experience.
I used to be afraid of this, of heaven.
As a good Christian girl, I, of course, could never give voice to these thoughts. I had to tuck them away neatly like the spring rain hiding neatly below the grass it has just forced itself upon. I didn’t want anything to think less of me, that I was doubting God. I didn’t want to be belittled. So many of the intellectual arguments and ideas about heaven seemed to counter ideas I just didn’t need.
Would there be dogs there? No, they don’t have souls (how cruel a response).
Would we have to see people we didn’t like? It doesn’t matter, you’ll both be perfect and like each other then.
What about the pain? Will that finally have answers?
It was the last one that always suck in my throat.
Usually, everyone in the room starts off a conversation on heaven by saying that we would just forget it or it wouldn’t matter compared to God’s goodness.
That answer never sits well with me. Especially at Easter.
At Easter, we hear the story of the Risen Christ, overcoming the grave, triumphant over death, and yet, still bearing the scars of the agony He endured.
What does that mean for me?
What does that mean for the nights I sit asking God to take this cup away from me only to then choke down every last drop of suffering?
Because one thing I am certain of, there will be reminders of the pain we’ve endured.
How could there not be? He did not spare His own Son from the reminders of His passion.
Christ’s resurrected body stood and invited Thomas to touch where the spear had plunged into his side, piercing his heart and place his fingers through the nail holes.
His mutilated flesh was part of His resurrected body.
It wasn’t swept under the rug, it was part of the story.
And I can’t imagine that the scars from my story won’t be there too.
More than that, if there were no reminders, if there were not a purpose, how could we trust God?
If this life was a cruel test that would simply vanish, unimportant, meaningless trials, what kind of God would allow that?
What kind of God would allow, of even will, His people to endure pain if there wasn’t a result
So now I hope, not that it goes away, but that it will be redeemed.
Hope that the things that haunt me in the middle of the night, the scars on my body and mind, aren’t moments of my life where God neglected to intervene but where He was planting in the ground seeds which will grow beyond what I can imagine.
That Christ, the firstborn of the dead might also show us that way into the redemption that we will carry with us into eternity and we, like Him, might show marvelous onlookers our scars, not with grief but in true wonder of what our God has done.