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Finding Power in Pain

Finding Power in Pain

 
By:  Justin Fatica March 22, 2021

“Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.” (John 11)

The gospel passage from this past Sunday’s reading is a powerful one! Can you imagine witnessing someone being raised from the dead? It is also an example of how God works in our daily lives by taking our pain and turning it into power. In the pain that Martha and Mary and Jesus himself experienced (“And Jesus wept.” John 11) and then through the witness of Lazarus rising from the dead shows us the power there is in pain.

As I was sharing this message with the missionary team this week, one of them shared a reflection of their own about the words in John 11 “Jesus wept”. “This is the shortest passage in the bible, and it’s the only time Christ cries. It shows Christ’s humanity. It only took two words to show that He’s just like us. He is not only God but man as well!”

Another missionary shared that Jesus knew that there would be more power in Lazarus being raised from the dead than healing him when he was sick. The pain endured during that time turned into great power that caused many people to believe.

Just like Jesus in our own ways, we have the power to weep with others and to raise others from the graves of sin and death that they are in. We have that power not on our own but through Christ when we choose to use our suffering instead of resenting it. He turns every painful experience into an act of saving power for the world when we allow him to take control of our lives.

We are called to die for the redemption of the world. God wills for us to suffer to help in the saving act of redemption. And because of that, the resurrection is coming! We may not physically be called to die for the gospel like the martyrs, but God calls us to die to ourselves every day! It is a gift to be called to this death because Christ makes something so incredibly beautiful out of our tears.

Mother Teresa said to love until it hurts because she knew that in the pain there was great power. To love until it hurts means to love no matter what. Let’s choose to take the pain we go through and turn it into power. We can hang our heads in discouragement, or we can embrace our cross like Jesus did and even smile through the tears.

In my own life, the rejection and pain that I’ve experienced and the names I’ve been called are my greatest power. When I think of the times I’ve been mocked, I know that is what makes me compassionate. I’m not compassionate because I am a great speaker or have done great things. I am who I am because God willed me to suffer.

At the end of the gospel passage this Sunday, Jesus says This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11) This is very relevant for us in this time of the COVID pandemic. We must have hope during this time and remember the power of Jesus in our pain.

 

Take Action!

As we prepare for the resurrection of Jesus this Easter, commit today to taking whatever pain you experience and look for ways to turn it into power.

 Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help me to be like you. I desire to take my pain and turn it into a witness of your power. Thank you for being here for me in my day-to-day suffering and joys. Help me to prepare my heart for your resurrection at Easter. Amen.

 

Photo Credits:
https://unsplash.com/photos/T5lmpSYxnSU
https://unsplash.com/photos/0GZ4Z_G9xCY
https://unsplash.com/photos/5Sgm_qmbwGc
https://unsplash.com/photos/3Kv48NS4WUU



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