I used to complain I could not sleep. I told insomnia to go away. I watched the clock ticking the seconds away willing myself to sleep. I even once put the clock on its face so I cannot see the seconds ticking away. I fret about insomnia and this anxiety about insomnia caused me sleepless nights.It’s quite an oxymoron. I went to the psychiatrist for prescription to help me sleep. Look what that got me! I had a bad fall that pretty much awaken me to my problem. This morning, I opened my eyes and it was 2am. I realised that I no longer fret about it. It’s alright. I will write about it instead.
I embrace insomnia.. this means I will accept it and not fret about it. This leads me to another thought. How about grief? I embrace that too. In the past few months, God is teaching me to embrace pain… with joy. Job is one character in the Bible most associated with suffering. Yet he was able to say this:
(Job 6:10) Then I would still have this consolation—
my joy in unrelenting pain—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
Job found joy in unending pain. In fact it was his comfort and encouragement, his joy in suffering, that he did not deny God. Job was loyal to God to the end.
A good friend once observed that in class, no student would raise his/her hand to answer a difficult question from the teacher. In life, nobody, not even a Christian would volunteer to take a difficult test from God. I would not choose for my mom to get sick and die. I would never choose to fall and break my ankle. Neither would I choose for my father to go through so many painful procedures and so much suffering. But God’s grace is sufficient. He sees us through the long dark tunnel. With each difficult challenge, He enables us to overcome. He nourishes me with His Word – the Bible. As I read His promises, as I trust in His word, and obey Him, I experience that indeed God works out all things for my good, for the good of those who love Him because those who love Him are called to do his good purpose on earth. That purpose is make Him known to all people; that through the people who love God, all other people will see and experience the greatness of our God.
And so I can choose to embrace pain. The world is filled with evil – from the work of Satan – through bad people causing violence, calamity and death. All nature is filled with natural disasters like earthquake, tsunami/tornado/hurricane, drought/famine, floods etc. Children of God are not exempted from these troubles. But they stand out different from the world because they choose to rejoice amidst the sadness. They have faith in the One who holds the world in His hands. They have hope that one day, Jesus Christ will return to conquer evil and death. They look forward with gladness and expectations to spending eternity with their eternal God – forever free from the stronghold of death!