Have you felt pain lately? Odds are, yes. What did you do about it? Ah, that’s the question.
We live in a world full of empty promises. See, there are plenty of distractions out there, insisting that you don’t have to live with pain.
Fallen, frail human body causing you grief? The medical industry promises “instant relief”.
Heartbroken, mourning love lost? The porn industry promises “instant satisfaction”.
Depressed, hurting over the depravity of mankind, over your own depravity? The drug industry promises “instant highs”.
Tired, the pressures of real life weighing heavy? The entertainment industry promises “instant alternate-reality”.
But none of it’s true, is it?
The medicine only masks the problem, you’re still slowly dying – edging ever closer to the point of no return.
The images aren’t love, you’re still without the one you care about – nothing could ever replace her.
The drugs aren’t joy, you’re still a broken soul – the depravity you share with the rest of humanity remains.
The movies, TV, and theme parks aren’t real, you’re still living in this world – the daydream will end.
So what is true, then, if not the above? Good question, and the first recorded post-modernist asked that very question of the person best able to give an accurate answer 2 millennia ago.
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
– John 18:37-38a
But of course, that answer had already been given to my namesake 4 chapters earlier:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, andthe truth, and the life.”
– John 14:6a
Yes, this life has great pain in store for us. Jesus promised as much to his disciples, remember? The whole, “you will be cast out of the synagogue” and “the world will hate you – but keep in mind it hated me first” discussions – not exactly what any self-loving human being wants to hear, right?
But Jesus is the truth, and so are his words. Thus, pain is a given as we follow him. Even his dear mother had a sword pierce her heart, according to Simeon as recorded by Luke.
But when pain comes, don’t turn to the lies. Instead, remain in the Truth. And as my tag line at the top reads: “The Truth is out there – his name is Jesus.”
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
– John 15:5