Have you ever had an ache or a pain? What about the kind that seems to be so far inside your heart that it seems completely inaccessible? …even to God…because He doesn’t seem to be fixing it.
We don’t like to think about pains of this kind. They’re not even fun to complain about to friends – like maybe for a few minutes here and there because a little sarcasm helps momentarily because it lets the pain be acknowledged and then allows it to slide right back into it’s place almost unnoticed, like a groundhog peeking up to see if it’s warm enough, safe enough to come outside.
But, it’s not. It’s still winter. The pain is still there, and to let it come completely out would be almost unbearable.
I hate going to the doctor.
I have a physical coming up and I’m dreading it. Doctors ask so many questions. I feel like they’re peering into my soul. I feel completely bare and exposed before them. And I always feel like their questions are accusing… like they’re trying to catch me doing something wrong. I don’t feel like they’re on my side.
Obviously this is completely irrational.
Doctors are like #1 in the most helpful people in the world category, right up there with fireman, policeman, and amazing friends. But, I find myself more at peace in my ignorance. This is why when I stay at hotels I’d rather not check for bed bugs. I don’t want to see them, so I’d rather just pretend they’re not there than dealing with the fact that they might be present. And then, if it gets unbearable, like I feel things crawling all over me, then I’ll be irritated and motivated enough to search out the mattress.
I don’t want to be faced with the reality that something is wrong. That pain exists. That there are things that I can’t control and can’t fix on my own.
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. –Mark 2:17
In Mark 2:17, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, who had just witnessed Jesus eating with tax collectors (those in the Jewish culture considered greedy traitors) and prostitutes. In the Pharisees’ mind, Jesus was completely immoral and clearly unrighteous because of who He was associating with. What the Pharisees failed to see was their own need, their own sickness called sin. Unless we admit that we are sick, or allow a doctor to check us out and tell us that we are sick – we won’t get better. We’ll stay the same, or get worse.
Unless we allow Jesus to press on our hearts and show us our sin, which hurts like hell sometimes, we can’t experience His healing – because we think we’re fine. As my grandma says, “God is a gentleman.” He allows us to come to Him, to call on Him. With all these health insurance talks, I’m more relieved than ever to know – there is no cost to us.
Jesus has paid it all.
Our bill was extremely high, more than you could ever pay, way more than I could ever pay. And it was expensive, but He made it free to us by taking our place and paying what we owed. The cost? The sacrifice of a sinless life. Who required it? God. Who paid it? Jesus (a.k.a God). Why?
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
That pain I mentioned… it might still be there – even after calling out to Jesus. Whatever causes that pain might not go away immediately. But God’s Word says that He cares… and if there is anything we can trust in this crazy world, it’s God.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7
But we have a choice. We have the choice to give it to Jesus everyday, and we might need to do it multiple times a day. Sometimes, I’m too lazy. And then it starts weighing me down. And I need help, I need to be reminded to keep my eyes on Jesus, not my pain, not the challenge before me… just Jesus. Not Netflix, not temporary pleasures, not food, not fun… that all comes and goes.
“Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”
― Augustine of Hippo