The Gift of Pain

Pain swallows hope whole, quashing

anticipation, motivation, and strength

as heartbeats tumble through our fingers

in a tempest of raging shame. Without

hope, we wither, unmoored and disconnected

from the Body, depleted. Yet in the beginning

was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. How can this Word,

this ancient, inspired expression of God fall

flavorless on our ears, unclear, thoughts flailing

in a white-out of exhaustion, avalanche of loss upon

loss, upon sustained loss … product of pain

fermenting in a sea of doubt, opaque agitation, disruption,

outrageous fear. Grief, really … intrusive, severe,

suffocating, nearly impossible to color, number, name, define.

For pain slips through our grip like a mirage dissembling

as we wrestle it into words, longing for something concrete,

quantifiable, something we can taste, touch, experience, see.

Yet the mystery is that once embraced, once accepted

as allowed by the Hand of God, pain becomes a gift

not a breaking of, but a breaking open, a radical,

reckless, incomprehensible treasure, able to refine, strengthen,

purify and plunge us deep into the bedrock of Jesus,

where we learn to pray: “Yes, Lord, even when we don’t

understand, even then, Lord, have Your way.” For pain can

be a pivot point, a place where the veil thins and we learn

to taste and see that He is God, and He is good. All the time.

Where we discover the inexplicable kinship of

suffering and joy. For we cannot savor joy until

we have first drunk deep the cup of suffering.

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Cindee Snider Re

Cindee Snider Re

Author and Co-Founder at Chronic Joy®

Cindee is a wife of 28 years to the man she loves most in this world, mama of five world-shaking creatives (18-27), author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose, Embracing Worth and I Take You in Sickness and in Health, photographer, craver of quiet, lover of cotton, denim, Jesus and tea, and co-founder of Chronic Joy®. Cindee and four of her five kids have Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, intractable migraine, and myriad co-existing conditions, through which they're learning the deeper the valley, the greater their capacity for joy.

 

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