Here’s the last post from my friend Pam on dealing with the “waves of adversity” in our lives.
I am becoming an avid cyclist, some would describe me as a obsessive cyclist, but I enjoy cycling and participating in road races. It’s a newer passion and I find myself being coached and encouraged by those with more experience through the challenges of training and building up strength and endurance. A year or so ago—when I was first getting into the training aspect of road bike racing—I contacted a friend who has a career in training people for triathlons and has himself participated in a number of Iron Man races. When I asked what advice he has for a novice road biker, he responded with, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
I find this statement to be so true when it comes to my relationship with God. Our comfort is shaken through many different ways, but some ways are painful. Such as death, divorce, illness, financial difficulties, betrayal, just to name a few. How do we become comfortable with being uncomfortable, or better yet, how do we stay present in the midst of the pain so that we become stronger, wiser, and more full of grace? The truth is some of us are stoics and bottle up our pain, thinking that it’s more important to keep it inside and keep it together on the outside. Others of us may find ourselves dwelling on the pain, becoming consumed and identify ourselves by it.
We can be present to the pain by expressing it as an act of worship—a lament. The Psalms invite us to plant our tears – “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” (Ps. 126.5). When we bottle up our pain we are avoiding it. The invitation is to acknowledge our pain—not to become consumed by it—and to plant it in worship. Lamenting is not the opposite of worship, it is worship—it is turning toward God even in the midst of sorrow, in the midst of pain, in the midst of the discomfort.
Where would you fall on the continuum of a stoic to some who is consumed with their pain?
What does planting your tears in worship look like for you?
What do you think about the statement “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and how it pertains to faith?