The LORD of hosts is with us. (Psalms 46:7 NRSV)

Pain is an inevitable part of life. Even Christ could not avoid pain and complete his mission and neither can we.

Charlie Brown, in a "Peanuts" cartoon, walks away from Lucy after a baseball game, head down, totally dejected. "Another ball game lost! Good grief!" Charlie moans. "I get tired of losing. Everything I do, I lose!" Lucy replies, "Look at it this way, Charlie Brown. We learn more losing than we do from winning." Charlie shouts at Lucy, who is startled and flips over backwards, "That makes me the smartest person in the world."

Don't worry, Charlie Brown, you've got a lot of company.

Certainly the Bible knows about pain, crises, suffering. There is Moses gazing upon a promised land that he will never enter. Hannah, downhearted, unable to eat, because of a child she is not able to bear. Elijah, fearful of his life, fleeing into the desert, alone and miserable. The widow of Nain, distracted by grief over the loss of her only son. The woman with the issue of blood. twelve years of hemorrhaging, seeing doctor after doctor, all to no avail. Blind Bartimaeus, Mary and Martha at their brother's tomb. And, Jesus upon the cross.

Yes, we will face pain, but we have the promise that God will be with us in our moments and days of pain.

Lord Jesus, thanks for being with me in my pain. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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