I often jokingly refer to myself as “that guy.” What I mean by this is that when something goes wrong it often happens to me. Last year, while packing away dishes, I managed to stab myself in the hand and needed to get stitches. Later that same year, while in Botswana on our mission trip, I was the only one to get bitten by a dog and needed to go to the hospital and complete a course of rabies injections (just in case I was the guy who got rabies!). This brings me to the latest example: this morning while walking inside to get something, I managed to slip on the step, bang up many of my toes and smack my arm really hard on the door frame. I responded to the sudden influx of pain by throwing one of Seth’s toys, and then punching the door (which then cut up my hand a bit!)
Now you may be wondering, “Did you really have to punch the door?” And my response is, “Yes!” It was simply a distraction from the amount of pain I was feeling in my feet in that moment and it genuinely seemed to help. After all the various sources of pain began to dissipate, I caught myself asking the very same question I did when reflecting on stabbing myself and getting bitten by a dog – “why!?” I see all three of these examples of getting hurt as unnecessary and completely avoidable so why did they happen? I hadn’t been able to answer this question until I really thought about it this morning.
While looking at my fresh wounds I was reminded of the amount of physical pain Jesus went through for me. I was reminded of the crucifixion accounts and all the previous research I had done on the process Jesus went through, as well as the excruciating pain He experienced and endured so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins when we believe in Him. These words from Isaiah 22:13-14 impact me nearly every time I read them:
13 See, my servant will be successful;
he will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
14 Just as many were appalled at you—
his appearance was so disfigured
that he did not look like a man,
and his form did not resemble a human being
One interpretation of this text is that it is speaking about the result of the physical punishment Jesus received on the day He was crucified. In light of this I cannot even fathom what Jesus looked like after His multiple beatings, scourging and crucifixion. Yet He willingly went through all of it for us so that we might be saved. This is sorely needed reminder of just how much God truly loves us. And instead of complaining or having a “woe is me” attitude in response to pain, I thought what would be more helpful is to use that pain to be a reminder of what Jesus went through for me. At the end of the day, as disciples of Jesus, the pain we experience in this life is only temporary and will one day not exist where we will live forever – in heaven with our God. What I will try to ensure is that if the pain of my wounds begin to flare up in the hours to come, I will remember what Jesus endured for me instead of simply complaining because of having to experience the inconvenience of the pain itself.