PAIN IN THE RESCUE
One of the most important morals I’ve learned from running marathons and participating in endurance events is that pain is a part of the race, whether I approve of it or not. In order to successfully reach the finish line, I need to invest in training because pain is part of the preparation. I’ve never met an athlete who enjoys the pain of training; on the other hand, I’ve never met an athlete who didn’t enjoy the results of proper training. Pushing your body causes discomfort but the pain is not wasted. Muscles enlarge after they’re stressed and broken. It’s the process of breaking down that results in positive growth as the body overcompensates—builds stronger, more robust physiology—to protect from future stress.
Like endurance races, our life on earth also guarantees that no one is exempt from pain—not even the Creator! Jesus willingly entered our world knowing His purpose and His destination: a painful death on a cross. His complete trust in God the Father and His love for us enabled Him to overcome the temptation to save only Himself. He endured the cross, knowing there was no other way, and willingly laid down His life so we could live. Jesus came to save us, knowing beforehand that the rescue would involve great pain. In light of eternity, His pain was temporary and the tears He shed produced a harvest of joy that can never be taken away. Our Savior defeated death when He rose from the grave three days later, proving He was God. Justice and mercy culminated at the cross when the fine for our sins was paid by Jesus so God the Father could dismiss our case. Jesus was victorious. His tears were not wasted. The rescue was worth the pain.