You can call it crazy. I prefer to call it curious.
While anticipating the birth of my firstborn I was eager to fully know what it would be like to deliver the living, growing child within my womb. I was determined to not have any pain-relieving medication during this agonizingly rip-roaring miracle. I wanted as natural a childbirth as possible and, besides, I have a strong dislike for needles.
Here's the curious thing: I wanted to know how painful childbirth really is. I wanted to go through the whole labour and deliver and experience the excruciating pain and the exhilarating joy.
Yeah, you could say crazy.
The stranger thing is when I was pregnant with my second, I was fully aware of the kind of pain that was ahead of me, but I still wanted to know if it would be just as intense as the first time. By the time I was swollen with my third child, you would think I would not need to wonder any longer, but my curiosity got the better of me. For the third time, I knew the multiplied pain in all its original curse.
I consider that bearing and bringing forth a child is a privilege and a blessing. By doing it without any pain management medication, I was enabled to feel the full extent of the power within to bring forth life. It really was an exhilarating kind of pain and I found out it's true when they say you will forget the pain (may I add, momentarily) when you know the exciting joy of new life.
We are afraid of pain and suffering. If we can avoid it, we will. And I'm not talking about the punishment of pain in childbirth now, but all suffering we endure for the sake of Christ.
What if we were crazy enough to embrace suffering for the sake of Christ?
I've always been struck with Paul's longing that he expressed in his letter that he penned while suffering in prison.
"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."
His goal and aim in life was to know Christ in an intimate and personal relationship. The great apostle knew that to know the power of new life, he would have to taste suffering and become like Christ in His death.
In suffering we will experience the exhilarating joy of God's power at work in us.
In the storms of life we will see the lighthouse that stands firm.
In pain our purpose is made clear.
A life without suffering lacks the need to look unto Jesus, the One "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame" and was raised to heights of Glory at the right hand of the throne of God.
Gratefully accept the thorns, the tremulous times, the troubles, and trials and God's power will rest upon those who gladly boast in their weakness.
Suffer for Christ sake and you will know a Power that brings forth new life.
Cause we're not just talking about crazy or curious perceptions in life, but the whole purpose of your life.
Dare I say, 'bring on the pain'?