Pain’s Way

pain“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us…” (Hebrews 12:1b)

Anyone who knows me, knows my little grandson is the apple of my eye. We are definitely close buds. That might explain why Pappy occasionally endures a bit of pain at the hands of the young lad. Like when he sat on my lap playing with the plastic pliers from his workbench. He got my thumb in the pliers and did a squeeze experiment. Hey, he’s learning things. Well, my thumb survived as we shared a giggle. Then he made the decision to place the pliers on my nose. My thumb was no worse for the wear, so I felt my snout would be fine as well. “Ouch…ouch…ouch, let go honey, ahhhh…let go!” I managed to get my hands on the pliers and relieved the little nose crusher’s grip. At that point, you figure Pappy has learned some things too. No. It seems Pap is a bit slow. The pliers were next affixed to Pappy’s neck. “Not so bad…just a slight pinch…Yeowwww!…let go honey…are those stars I see?…Ohhh!” Finally, Pappy brought the little tool wielder’s exercise to a close…

It may be somewhat difficult to imagine us purposely putting ourselves in pain’s way, yet many of us do on a regular basis. How so? We choose to sin. Sin hurts us. Even if sin dresses up and masquerades as pleasure, the weight and consequences will bring pain into our lives. Our relationship with God will suffer. That hurts us. It hurts Him. And that may hurt most of all. Our relationships with others will be affected as well. Sin weighs everything in life down. King David in the aftermath of the Bathsheba debacle describes, “For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.” (Psalm 32:4)

When we indulge in sin, especially in our pet sins which so easily ensnare us, we can be assured of an upcoming appointment with another kind of pain – the pain of God’s chastening. The Bible tells us: “…God deals with (us) as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” (Hebrews 12:7) In fact, if we discover God’s chastening is absent, we best take notice, for again, we are told, this gives evidence that we are not sons and daughters at all. (v.8)

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (v.11) You see, sin’s way is inevitably pain’s way. The pain of sin. The pain of correction. I’m not a big fan of pain – how about you?

…I’m lying in the yard on my stomach waiting for my rider to climb on. He likes to ride on the Pappy horsey. Suddenly, “thwack, thwack, thwack” on my back. I quickly turn sideways to discover another experiment: Hit Pappy with his plastic golf club, in this case, his putter. I carefully and firmly explain, we do not hit people with golf clubs. “Okay!” he cheerfully responds, scurrying off. I resume my horse position and wait. “WHACK, WHACK, WHACK” on my back. Again, I whirl sideways. This time he has his driver. Hey, he’s learning things!

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