*Since we’ve been traveling more often the past couple of months to help take care of our grandbabies, I’ve been sharing encore posts more often than usual. Today I’m featuring one from April 2012. Hope it blesses you!
Sometimes new things—good things—hurt. Think of the pain that precedes or accompanies some of the happenings in our lives. Whether it’s a move, a promotion, the birth of a child, goals achieved, weight loss, or our young adult children leaving us to start responsible lives of their own, most of the time pain comes before the pleasure is realized.
In my writing life, this has certainly proved to be true. I make mistakes as I venture into new and challenging territories. I experience the pain of rejection in order to realize the pleasure and joy of publication. I put in hours and hours of labor to see my work come to completion, and the strain on the brain (as well as the tushy!) can be quite painful at times.
Pain before pleasure also marks my personal life. For instance, I don’t like the planning and packing that must precede a vacation or the fact that my arthritic joints cry out against the uncomfortable positions I must assume to pick fresh strawberries from our patch. When my girls were growing up, I dreaded the discipline I had to dish out in order to see them become responsible and caring adults. The examples could go on and on.
The principle of pain before pleasure also dots the landscape of my spiritual life—and yours as well, I’m sure. To come into relationship with Jesus, we must first feel the sting of our sin as we realize our need for a Savior. Then lessons in unconditional love and forgiveness come with the price tags of hurt and anger, while deeper relationship with our Lord often grows from periods of heartache, fear, or desperation. Yes, pain comes before the pleasure of salvation, freedom, peace, comfort, and a host of other blessings.
Let’s consider our salvation and hope of heaven a bit further. Even though we experience some pain and sorrow as we realize our sinfulness, Jesus took on the real pain for us. He suffered and died to pay the price for our sins, to make a way for us to live in victory today and to have the assurance of eternal life with Him in heaven.
As we celebrate Easter each year, we see the ultimate example of pain before pleasure. Jesus’ death before His resurrection. Darkness before light. Sorrow before joy. New life to all of us who will turn from the old sinful nature and give our hearts to the One who gave His all for us. Pain before pleasure—a pleasure for us as we gain a Savior and Friend, as we gain eternal life. A pleasure for Him as we accept His gift and become His children.
Let’s live in that pleasure today and every day. Let’s live in the joy of Easter!
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
*If you’re in a painful phase right now, take heart — pleasure will come again. Anyone have examples you’d like to share from your own life of pain before pleasure?