I really don’t know anyone who loves, or even likes pain. That is unless you are a legit masochist. I’ve never met one personally and I would imagine you don’t go around announcing that sort of thing, who the heck knows, I might know one or two. The truth is that pain, for most of us, is like an unwelcome guest. Pain moves into your house, eats your food, takes advantage of your family, leaves the toilet seat up (yes I’m implying pain is a man) and even plays with your dog. You want him to leave but somehow he’s always hanging around. You try your best to avoid or ignore him but there’s no way around it, he has to be dealt with.
For years I thought that happiness was based on avoiding pain and the absence of problems. I was so wrong! I now know the truth that through embracing pain we have the greatest opportunity to change ourselves and the world around us. I have come to understand this first hand for myself in the last 6 months. It’s not that I hadn’t experienced pain, Lord knows I have. It’s that for the first time I have found unbelievable purpose as a result of my pain. I found true peace through accepting and leveraging my pain for my greater good and the greater good of others.
For years I thought that happiness was based on avoiding pain and the absence of problems. I was so wrong! I now know the truth that through embracing pain we have the greatest opportunity to change ourselves and the world around us.Tweet
Pain is inevitable. If you say that you haven’t experienced pain you might be living in a bubble, or you might have your head buried in the sand. You might also be living in denial because the pain of dealing with it seems worst than the pain itself. Pain is an incredible teacher. It is also temporary if you can become aware of it, accept it and work through it. If we are unable, or unwilling, to work through it, it will slowly start making all your choices for you.
So, what does it look like to move from pain to passion? So many of us have a dream or a passion we would love to pursue but are stuck in our hurt and never get to enjoy what we love. We sometimes fail to realize that the fuel that sustains passion is found in the embracing and working through the hard things of life. Every great pursuit in life, whether it be a better marriage, starting a new business or job, being an exceptional parent, or even having an incredible spiritual walk with Jesus involves sacrifice. Moving from pain to passion will cost you a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it can also provide a sweet reward for those who endure.
There is no greater example of turning pain into passion than Jesus. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2, NIV).” Put another way… For the passion of forgiveness and reconciliation set before him, Jesus suffered the pain of the cross for you and me. For Jesus, enduring the pain of the cross was necessary for receiving the joy of loving and rescuing us. Likewise the path to our greatest joy and passion is found at the end of our pain.
The author of Hebrews gives us a clue as to how this might happen when he says we must, “Throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and run the race marked out for us.” More on these later. What are you willing to endure in order pursue your passions? What must you throw off in order to run the race designed for you and you alone?