I watched the [Fault in Our Stars] the other night, alone in my hotel room, and I cried so hard my heart hurt. I thought about my little 4-year-old friend Grace who has suffered so much this year with leukemia. I thought about my brother and the 10 years he’s suffered with schizophrenia. I thought about my sister-in-law who just got the news that after beating colorectal cancer, now has cancer in her lungs. I thought about the ideas the movie brought up that “pain is meant to be felt” and that “oblivion is inevitable” and I cried out to God with all of my fears. Then I opened my Bible app, as is my custom when I am in emotional pain. I began reading in 2 Peter and was reminded that there is hope for all of this.
In this world, there is no escaping pain. One way or another it touches all if us. Some with sickness or disease, others with tragedy or abuse, and still others with deep pangs of grief that seem to get worse by the minute. If the Bible is true and Jesus really is the Son of God who came to save us, then why hasn’t He taken away our pain? In fact, why when He came to the Earth, did He Himself have to endure so much pain? The answer is you. He endured it for you so that you could trust that you have a God who doesn’t just know your pain but has felt your pain. The pain of rejection, the pain of grief, the pain of loneliness and endured it to the end. Then He gave us a new beginning. The hope of new life. A new resurrected body that doesn’t get sick. The promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth wherein righteousness dwells. Where there is no more cancer, no more death, no more pain.
So why is Jesus taking so long to come back and usher in this utopia? He’s waiting for you. For me. For your sister and your best friend and your Mom and your children and your Dad and your coworkers and all the ones you care about most. He’s waiting. That just one more day or one more month or one more year might mean just one more person, created in the image of God, might choose to believe and experience life as it was meant to be lived. With Him. Without pain.
He will obliterate pain once and for all one day. But you are worth the wait.
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some might count slackness but is long suffering toward YOU, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”.