Pastor’s Channel: Embracing Pain

man's boots as he walks forward

By: Shawn Weaver

Most of us reading this article remember the days of Toys R Us and their famous commercials. “I don’t wanna grow up, I wanna be a Toys R Us kid….” If you think about it, that is mantra of nearly any adult out there.

Why is that? We grow up pretty much only one way. Embracing pain. 

When we move from crawling to walking, we must embrace pain. To go from training wheels to a two-wheeler, we must embrace pain. To go from single to asking someone out, we must embrace pain. 

Whether we change grades, schools, or jobs, we must embrace a measure of pain. There is no way to go from where we are to someplace new, without acknowledging we don’t have everything we need. Then asking for help, we embrace the pain of new. We are designed to hate pain. What drives us forward? What could possibly make us willing to embrace it?

Simple. When the pain of where we are exceeds the pain of where we are going. We will move forward. Whether the pain of where we are is excruciating or the pain of moving forward is simply less, that is what we need. After all, walking through death and pain are never the point.

What caused us one day to get our CDL? Maybe it was the dead-end job, not being able to pay bills, or being miserable at work. Or maybe it was the prospect of a new career, new opportunities, or seeing the countryside. When I decided to pursue my commercial drivers license, I had gotten laid off from my electrician job and was needing to support my new wife who was now pregnant. I had no idea what to do.

One day I had the thought, “What would I love to do whether I get paid or not?” I came to the conclusion of driving a truck. I embraced the pain of training, passing the test, and getting into a new career, never to look back. 

What is the pain of our moment? What is the pain that keeps us from moving forward? Sometimes it is really helpful to name those things. Statements like: I am afraid that…, I don’t want to appear….., people expect me to….. Without naming our pain, it can feel like fighting the invisible man — trying to hit, or being hit by something we can’t even see. 

Jesus embraced pain. Pain that wasn’t even His to embrace. Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…”

Giving us access to what was originally intended for us was the joy set before Him. Each one of us is created for something. The only way we will ever find it is in Him.

Shawn Weaver serves as the senior pastor at ACTS Covenant Fellowship and as a driver for NHT Logistics. If you would like to connect with Shawn, email him at shawnweaver2@gmail.com.

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