I've been thinking about pain...

Staying On The Hurt Line

The Epicurean philosophy, which is deeply embedded in our culture, identifies our desperate attempt to pursue pleasure and flee pain. However, looking into the Bible, we see a very different story in the model of Jesus praying in Gethsemane.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."Matthew 26:36-39

The last few days I have talked to women who are in extremely difficult situations and I find myself referring them to the concept of staying on the hurt line. What do I mean? I mean resisting the overpowering desire to move in the direction of denial and repression or to move in the direction of withdrawal and running away. The third choice? Feeling it all, deeply, but staying engaged in an emotionally painful situation because God is about accomplishing something more and He could really use our cooperation.

The hurt line I am referring to does not require a woman to stay in a situation of danger. I am talking about the amount of pain involved in a sacrificial on-going denial of self and the amount of fighting required to not give in to the natural human tendency to flee pain at all costs.

Ecclesiastes 1:18 says, For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. Vexation is not a word we hear much today but it means trouble, distress or agitation. Why does wisdom cause distress? Because when we become wise, we can anticipate grieving. We know what can happen and we know why it is happening and we begin to mourn what lies ahead.

Because we can anticipate, however, does not mean that God intends for us to cower in our agitation and fear. All I am saying is, sometimes the best place to be in on the hurt line. It is the place of persistent obedience with the possibility of participating in a situation that may ultimately reveal the glory of God in a phenomenal manner.

After all, in Hebrews 12:2 we see that Jesus went on to endure the cross even though He despisedthe shame and now He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Oh, God give me grace to stay on the hurt line...