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No Pain No Gain

Pain makes people think, thinking give them wisdom and wisdom confers peace.

(Boris Pasternak)

The other day I visited a young man in the hospital who attended our church. He was involved in a motorcycle accident and broke his arm. Just a few weeks before the crash I had been teaching about how we should be thankful to God in every situation. Wanda, his mother, spent several days in the hospital helping care for Trent, and decided to make a list of positive things that could come from the tragedy. She came up with ten. Number seven read, "My son will learn that pain is a part of healing.”

As it is with the physical so it is with the spiritual—hurt is a part of the healing process. It is imperative that we become aware of what happens as we seek forgiveness. “If we confess our wrongdoing; God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (John). Confession is a painful but necessary part of recovery, and as we begin to seek the Lord, we will find ourselves being compelled to bring hidden things out in the open. Confession works like medicine. That is why the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous made it the first of the Twelve Steps in their program, "We admit we are powerless…that our lives have become unmanageable."

Trials and tribulations come to everyone. In order to experience victory we must go through them. The key word is “through. We must purpose in our hearts not to quit and give up no matter how big the setback, no matter how disappointed we become in people, and no matter how difficult the circumstances of life may seem. The first step in getting well is taking off the mask and being truthful with ourselves, God and others. “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable” (Jamie Buckingham). When we admit the truth, it will hurt for a while.

The story is told that Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, visited a prison and talked with the inmates. There were endless tales of innocence. Finally, the king stopped at the cell of a silent convict. "Well," remarked Frederick, "I suppose you are innocent too?" "No sir, I'm not," replied the man. "I'm guilty and deserve my punishment." Turning to the warden, the king said, "Release this rascal before he corrupts all these fine innocent people in here!" When we accept responsibility for our wrongdoing we are on the road to healing and freedom.

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