Yesterday’s post looked at sitting with pain. It discussed the fact that in an analgesic society we have lost the ability to live life on life’s terms. So instead we do all we can to make ourselves feel better.
Having said what I did yesterday, I want to make clear that it is ok to make ourselves feel better at times, if it is in an appropriate way. Going to the footy or grabbing a chocolate bar is fine if it doesn’t take away from your growth as a person. Of course we need to be sensible about this. If you have an addiction to something, then obviously it is not healthy to indulge in that to make yourself feel better. That is the point I was making yesterday.
The best thing we can do however if we want to make ourselves feel better is to remind ourselves that we are loved beyond measure by the God of the universe. In his book, Inside Out, Larry Crabb says that when we are struck by the confusion of life, it is healthy to remind ourselves of God’s infinite love for us. That’s why being still and meditating on these truths is so beneficial, especially in our 24/7 culture that needs constant stimulation. Here is some of what Crabb says:
Cling to what you know is true. There is a God, He loves you, He sent His Son to die for your sins, He’s promised to never leave you, and one day He’ll return to make everything right. Remind yourself of these truths. In moments of soul-wrenching confusion [and I would add, pain], ponder the importance of these unchanging truths until they become burning realities in your soul.
Love is the most powerful transformative force in the universe. Surrendering all of our lives to God allows us to become more loving people, transformed more and more into the image of Christ. To become more loving is our ultimate goal in life. It is the highest reach for which the human person can attain. That’s why it’s so wonderful to remind ourselves of God’s incredible love for us.
When we were at our previous church, we would sing a great song which talked about us being loved and accepted without the song and dance. When we know we are loved, when we are able to accept it, we no longer have to prove ourselves. We are free to love; we no longer have to be fearful, we no longer have to be scared of consequences that may or may not happen. Perfect love casts out all fear. We don’t have to worry about trying to look good or be good at sport, or anything like that. We don’t have to be insecure about that. God loves us as we are.
The love of God is what changes us. It changes us so that we are not just left to bask in this love, but we are changed to go out and change others. As Richard Rohr says, transformed people transform people. The love of God allows us to more fully participate in God’s mission to renew, restore and rebuild this world. Letting love transform us is a great way to deal with pain in our lives. It is transforming, it is healing, and it makes us more human.