Thoughts on Pain & Pleasure

I recently became a new grandma — Hudson is the first child of my own children… and there is nothing quit like it.

I have been particularly struck by the relationship of pain and pleasure through observing the whole experience. At first, Luke & Bonnie were rather ‘traumatized’ by the 17 hour labor, including 3 hours of pushing… and this — the price — for the most amazing, blessed event of their lives! Scripture does make it clear that ‘Suffering’ is very connected to ‘Glory’ — in this case — the glorious, sought after beginning of such a precious new child’s life! It seems we cannot have the one without the other.

Romans 8:17-18 We share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. [NIV]

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 Therefore we do not lose heart… For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. [NIV] (The AMP version calls it: “an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculation, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!“)

John 16:21-22 A woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief (anguish, agony) because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain (trouble, anguish) because she is so glad that a man (a child, a human being) has been born into the world.

Hebrews 1:10 For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped…] through suffering.

I am re-reading one of my favorite classics at the moment: Hind’s Feet On High Places. It is now available in a devotional form, with the original story along side a daily meditation – I highly recommend it! In Hannah Hurnard’s story, a lowly servant girl named ‘Much-afraid’ makes her journey to the High Places – into the Kingdom of Love. There she will receive her new name: “Grace & Glory.” Her curious journey companions, given her by the Good Shepherd Himself, are ‘Sorrow’ and ‘Suffering’. At first she despises that these are to be her companions, but they alone can be trusted to show her the way. How human – we all desire Grace without sorrow and Glory without Suffering. I do, at least. But as an inspirational mentor in my life often says: “Come to Jesus for free… but to have Christ formed in you will cost you everything.” Sometimes I hate it… but the most worthwhile things in life are by far  the most expensive. 

Hudson Lucas is proof enough.

Dear Lord,
Let me not call you Lord and still want my own way. Your ways are higher than mine and your thoughts than my thoughts.

Thank You that all Your ways are perfect and that You are making my way perfect. Thank You that You are The Father of Lights who gives only good and perfect gifts to Your children. When I ask You for a loaf of bread, you do not hand me a stone. When I ask for a fish, You do not hand me a serpent. 

When my heart grows faint within me – You alone know the way that I take. When I journey through suffering, you are perfecting me to be like Your glorious Son. Is there something I would rather be??? NO.

No wonder Paul said he was in labor until Christ was formed in those he loved. And You’ve promised that Christ in me is the hope of Glory! You have my permission today to continue forming Christ in me. 

Your child,