"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
"The process of renewal and recommitment to God is sometimes painful, long and trying. The Israelites had to go through the circumsion to renew their covenant with God, which was a painful process leaving them extremely vulnerable and in a position where they had to surrender their safety and welfare to God. Likewise, when we re-dedicate our lives to God, it is not as easy as just praying for the ability to do so. but it will cost us something. Surrendering to God will leave us in a position of vulnerablity and sometimes might seem irrational. But it is in precisely this position that we can fully trust God to see us through, and this is what re-dedication is all about."
I want to admit that this entire year, I did not make it through while courageously walking on and facing the fears and pains. No, I didn't choose this response - Jesus picked me up, held me in His arms, carried me in His embrace and walked me to the end. It was't the first time I had such an imagery in the difficult seasons of my life. But this time, that story had such a deeper, intimate meaning given my physical lack of mobility. I could not take a single step on my own. Jacob's story of wrestling with God, and his ruined hip in exchange for the blessing and presence of God, was no longer a mere beautiful history and biblical lesson, It was the wellspring of life, a love story from God reserved also for me, some thousands of years ago before I was born.
All of us have our own pains in life. Yours are probably not the same as mine (but well, it may be!) As a brother in Christ, I want to encourage you to count your costs of following Christ on earth. Just as eternity is understood through mortality, through the pains, sufferings, "injustice", God's silence, we count His healing, His comfort, His righteousness, and His ever-presence. In the most difficult of times, He exposes to us His presence that can never be taken away from us thereafter, a glimpse of Eternity and Himself. Let us not love pain. Let us hate suffering. But ultimately, let us desire God. There are times when I forgot about pain and suffering, as I look to find God. There are times when I forgot about God when I am in pain and suffering, yet God looks to find me. At times I reject Him, at times I blame Him, at times I rage at Him and become calculative, telling Him to do something for me for everything I've done for Him. And I've heard Him tell me: "What you did for me, will never be in vain."