One of my all time favorite movies has many one-liners that we love to quote around our house. Well, our kids don’t quote the movie, but my husband and I do. Buttercup says to the man in black, “You mock my pain.” “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”-Man in Black (a.k.a. The Dread Pirate Roberts)
Now, I’m not trying to sell you something. I promise. I will, however share my story with you in hopes that it will be a source of encouragement.
The movie, The Princess Bride, is full of funny, quotable, one-liners. But this one is fitting for this season. “What?”, you say. “Another season of pain. Come on, Julie, get over this already.” Well, believe me, I empathize with you.
As you have probably experienced, life has many ups and downs. There are good days and there are bad days. There are days when I feel like I’m doing good, and days when I feel like I’d rather not take another breath because it’s just a reminder of the pain.
You may say to me, what do you know about pain? Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Have you lost a loved one due to tragedy? Have you suffered endless persecution at the hands of others due to your faith? Well, as I may not have experienced all of those tragedies, and some of those are extreme, I would never try to negate the type of pain that could be induced by those types of experiences either. Just as I’d never minimize those types of pain, I’d never want the depth of my pain to be minimized. Pain, regardless of it’s source, is real. It can be brought on by many different circumstances, and it hurts.
As I share one of my favorite quotes from the Princess Bride, let me also share another one of my favorite quotes. This one comes from a really good book that I read, occasionally. “I have told you all of this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” This comes from the “Good Book”, and it is a direct quote from the man himself. Jesus.
What does He mean “take heart”? Take heart! How am I supposed to “take heart” when my heart feels like it’s convulsing in my chest. Take heart, when I feel like I cannot take another breath.
Well, let’s talk about this for a minute. This verse comes form the book of John. The whole chapter involves Jesus talking to His disciples and it is about how He will leave them and how they will have to deal with it. How He (Jesus) will have to leave in order for us to be comforted. Comforted from what. Life? Life’s trials? Yes. These men would go on to suffer many trials, and much pain. It’s almost as if in order to receive comfort, one must first endure pain. In what other way could one swim in the comfort unless you first knew the sting and agony of drowning through the depths of pain?
Well, I am here to tell you that through all of the pain, there is hope. There is a purpose. As I go through this life I realize that these trials are necessary to build character. I will not sell the lie to you that you can live a pain free life, that is impossible. Although life, at times may be “pain”, it can be overcome. You can take heart, and in taking heart, you can take your heart and tell it that things will be okay. You can trust that even through the pain, the hurt, the trials, you can endure, and make it through. When Jesus states that He has “overcome the world”, I think we wants us to understand that this world and the pain that comes along with it will one day be gone. He is much greater than this life that we live and this life will one day pass away. The circumstances that surround and make up ones life will one day be just a memory someplace. It’s what we do with these that make the difference for eternity.
Take heart, He has overcome. This life, though it may have some painful situations, will one day pass. Enjoy the moments that are pain-free, and know that the ones that are full, maybe even overflowing with pain, will pass too. You can endure and you can have peace that can consume any attempts at understanding the pain. Peace, in the midst of the storm. Not due to ignorance of the rains or the winds, but a comfort that the sun will always outshine the storm. A comfort that the storm has a purpose, even when you cannot see it.
Take heart. The same man that has overcome the world, has given us His spirit, and through that spirit, we can sail through this life and endure its storms, knowing full and well, that in us taking heart, we are being made into His image. Every moment passes, ushering in new moments. Remember, it will pass. Four steps can help. 1. Take a deep breath. 2. Exhale. 3. Trust. 4. Repeat. Now trust in a bigger purpose. Take heart. He has overcome and because He has overcome, so can you!