STRENGTH

Pain brings strength. I've been thinking about that concept a lot lately. I've always loved strength. I love feeling strong, doing things that take strength, feeling capable. However, I'm also not a huge fan of pain. But I don't know if true strength can ever really develop without pain.
Body builders work hard and push through pain in order to gain muscle or strength. Runners run longer and harder in order to be stronger runners. They must feel some degree of pain in order to develop any level of strength. This isn't just true for athletes. Scholars, scientists, all those brainy people must study and go through the pain of diligently applying themselves in order to see growth or develop strength in those areas.
I think this concept is true in everyday life as well. Pain is a definite part of life. We don't wish for it, but it's always there. It comes in so many different forms, physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, financial pain, spiritual pain. Pain hurts, I know that's redundant, but it's true. Whatever hurts in life, is pain. But in that moment of pain there is the opportunity to build strength. However that only happens if the pain is faced. Avoiding pain does nothing. Pain must be experienced in order to reap the rewards.
We all like, soft, cushy, comfortable, safe, secure, relaxed, supportive atmospheres and experiences, but if life was only made up of those times we would be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually weak. There must hurdles to leap, hills to climb, obstacles to go around, big guys to tackle, and pain to endure.
I think that is why Jesus was always telling the disciples to do things that weren't comfortable for them. Leave everything, love your enemies, give all your possessions away, FOLLOW ME! So although pain in daunting at times, I'm encouraged because I know that the result of going through it is one of my most desired attributes -- STRENGTH!

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