I've been thinking a lot about pain here lately. The world is full of it and we all experience it. It's part of the human story; there's no way around it. And as I ponder the lives of those who face the greatest injustices and abuses of our time, I can't even begin to imagine the kind of pain they must feel. To be exploited, used, deemed less than human - it makes me wonder what this unimaginable pain must feel like.

I know the most painful moments of my life have been very intense. My experience with pain has been the physical-pain-in-your-chest, drowning-in-emotion kind of pain. It has hit the depths of my soul, crashed my world, and changed life as I knew it. 

Here's the truth though: No matter what situation causes our pain, pain hurts.

And an even greater truth: God is absolutely able and faithful to heal! 

What I have come to realize about pain is that it is a deep longing for what is right, what is pure, and what is perfect. Therefore, the only cure for our pain is the Perfect One. The only One who can identify with the depth and width and breadth of our pain. The One who took the weight of the world on His shoulders. The One who knows what deep loss and betrayal feels like. 

When you're hurting don't be tempted to despair. Oh, no! Run to the One who is right, who is pure, and who is perfect. He is the salve that will soothe your wounds. He is the healer who will be by your side as you recover. He is the forgiver who will lead you down the road of forgiveness, which will set you free.  

Friends, there is a cure for pain and His name is Jesus. Drink of His cup. Eat of His bread. Soak up the words of life He tenderly speaks over you, and live. 

This life won't be pain-free. No, it will be pain-filled.

But remember, our deepest pains are our deepest longings for what is right, what is pure, and what is perfect. So long for Him. Hurt like you've never hurt before. Because the more you hurt, the more you long for Him. And the more you long for Him, the more of Him you'll receive.

That's the best news of all. And it's this truth that will allow you to find joy in the midst of suffering because wherever Jesus is, joy abounds.

Invite Him into your pain today, and live.