Beautiful Pain

There are not many things in life as “beautifully hard” as childbirth. I had the privilege of seeing all my biological children come into this world. To say the process was painful and hard would be quite an understatement. To say the process was beautiful just doesn’t seem to do it justice either. The beauty of new life overshadows the pain and struggle of the process to bring the new life into the world.

I feel a similar feeling at Christmas. We have this warm, glowing process about Jesus being born. We exchange gifts and share Christmas joy, but the mission for which He came was anything but beautiful.  My journey through the book of Isaiah brought me across the path of “beautiful pain”. Check this out…

1 Who would have believed what we heard?  Who saw the Lord’s power in this? 2 He grew up like a small plant before the Lord, like a root growing in a dry land.
 He had no special beauty or form to make us notice him; there was nothing in his appearance to make us desire him. 3 He was hated and rejected by people. 
He had much pain and suffering.
 People would not even look at him. He was

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

hated, and we didn’t even notice him. 4 But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us.
We saw his suffering
and thought God was punishing him. 5 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did.
 The punishment, which made us well, was given to him,
and we are healed because of his wounds. 6 We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the Lord has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done. 7 He was beaten down and punished, but he didn’t say a word. 
He was like a lamb being led to be killed.
 He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet while its wool is being cut; he never opened his mouth. 8 Men took him away roughly and unfairly. 
He died without children to continue his family.
 He was put to death; he was punished for the sins of my people. 9 He was buried with wicked men,
and he died with the rich. 
He had done nothing wrong,
and he had never lied. 10 But it was the Lord who decided
to crush him and make him suffer. The Lord made his life a penalty offering,
 but he will still see his descendants and live a long life.
 He will complete the things the Lord wants him to do. 11 “After his soul suffers many things, he will see life and be satisfied.
My good servant will make many people right with God; he will carry away their sins. 12 For this reason I will make him a great man among people, and he will share in all things with those who are strong.
 He willingly gave his life 
and was treated like a criminal.
But he carried away the sins of many people and asked forgiveness for those who sinned.” (Isaiah 53:1-12 NCV)

 Christmas is a beautiful scene setting up some painful purpose. He suffered pain for me. He came that I might have eternal existence.  Christmas becomes a real blessing when I understand how the pain is crushed by the beauty of His birth.

Pressing On!

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