"Pain plants the flag of reality in the fortress of a rebel heart."
- Chuck Swindoll
QUOTES like the one above can take some working through, but I would like to attempt to fit my title to the concept bound up in this pithy statement of wisdom.
PAIN PLANTS A FLAG OF REALITY
Reality is what we all deserve to feel, for only in reality - felt in all its wonder, truth and force - are we real.
Pain would not be the only way we experience the desire to embrace reality. But we do grow through the harsher realities that come against us. And we grow in our capacity to deal with reality.
Pain does plant a flag of reality, and through pain there's no sustainable way of escaping reality. Even if we did escape reality, pain will bring us back to face it, ultimately.
Pain, therefore, augments our path to live in accord with reality. Pain is the key to unlocking the abundant life, because the abundant life is hidden within reality.
... IN THE FORTRESS OF A REBEL HEART
Rebel hearts are not easy to break down. Indeed, there's a fortress-like function in the heart that rages even against God, as it is referred to in Proverbs 19:3. The rebel heart has no friend in the land of the purposes of God, yet deals are made with the devil without knowing it.
The fortress of a rebel heart needs the flag of reality to be implanted, and pain is the only way to manifest such a global actuality.
It's a good thing for a stubborn heart of a stiff-necked person to be pierced and broken.
Pain is the key to unlocking the abundant life, because the abundant life is hidden within reality.
To be healed is to live in the acceptance of a reality of God's choice. No matter what God chooses for the circumstances of our life; that's our reality. And it's pain that initiates and completes the full loop which gets us accepting and enjoying reality.
There's no reality that we cannot endure, but we'll have to endure pain first if we're to enjoy every reality. And it's God's will that we can be joyously content always.
Pain ought not be loathed, but appreciated for where it's taking us; into the fuller mystery of being able to more fully experience reality.
This is what is meant by losing our lives to save them. We must have passed through the valley of the shadow of death to appreciate what's out there; on the other side.
Don't despise the pain,
Though you hate your life right now,
After the presence of deathly rain,
Sunshine to you will life endow.