For most pain is something avoided in life. I certainly try. Yet it seems some amount of pain is a certainty of life, whether physical or emotional or spiritual. But it sucks when it happens nonetheless.
Throughout my life I've experienced different kinds and intensities of pain, some quick and intense (like the time I broke my collar bone falling out of bed), others dull and long-term (like having parents who struggle with depression and anxiety). I've even had my fair share of pain caused in the church, by people who (like me) are broken and unfortunately hurt others, often unaware of their impact.
When I survey where I am today, and the path or experiences which brought me here, I can't say the uncomfortable wasn't part of my journey. But I also see a marked difference between what was uncomfortable (like lifting weights) and what was down right unbearable (broken bone).
As Christians we have this tendency to want to redeem things before Jesus has done the work. We are often uncomfortable with the grieving, mourning, and weeping of the grave experiences in our lives. We handle the "crosses" by our intelligence, will power, strength, and perseverance to help us carry on and not get stuck. And we love the celebration of victories in our lives: healing in our bodies, recovered finances, restored relationships. But something about Saturday at the grave can make us twitchy.
I see this when a believer shares a deep and painful truth about their life (their marriage ending, being fired from a job they love, not having enough money to pay the rent) and the Christian on the other side, not knowing what on earth to say (who would?), says, "Yes, but God is good!" Worse is when the person suffering ends their story with, "Sure it's hard, but it'll be okay!" Optimism is one good thing, but not letting ourselves feel hurt, angry, scared is another.
One of the amazing things about Jesus I love is that unlike other religions he invites us to journey with him through our pain. Not around it, or transcending above it. Through it. And he doesn't even call our pain (notice I didn't say discomfort) good. He weeps with us in it. He grieves with us. When we try to skip Saturday at the tomb we miss his comfort, and we miss the opportunity to allow our tears of pain and anger and sadness to make room for healing. Tears connected with the experience that brings them about can be healing and restorative. And Jesus invites us to sit with him for a time and grieve in our places of pain.
Once the time is over, we pickup our mats and move forward from deeper places of wholeness. But when we try to move on too soon, our wounds leak and get infected and can hurt others. Jesus does not ask us to run a marathon with a broken leg. But he does invite us to physical therapy once it is healed (the uncomfortable part).
I Wonder... What would it look like: