Allow me the grace to be a bit transparent…

Not too many years ago, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.  It’s too hard.  I will never get out of this pit.  It would be better for me to die.”

The reality of living was too hard to handle.

This reality stared at me in the face every day.  Whether it looked at me in the mirror or through the eyes of a stranger, I couldn’t help but see its disconcerted lines on every face.

It became blatantly obvious to me that life required more out of us than we wanted to give.  That there’s more disappointment than we bargained for.  And, more rejection than we expected.

As a pastor, the depth of my brokenness was hard to understand in myself.  I was supposed to be better than that…stronger than that.  More mature than the rest.

But, here I was in the despair of my pain anyways.

And then…Jesus!

He showed me a difficult truth.  I had to learn the hard lesson that my peace…and my joy…does not flow from answered prayer, but from an identity that has been made whole by a greater grace.  That there is more to living than having everything turn out perfectly, especially on my time table.

I am who I am regardless of when, where, and how I find myself.  In Christ, I have been recreated.  I am filled with His Spirit.  I have been healed, restored, and released to be the person God saw before time began.

I must be greater than my pain.  If not, I will become addicted to it just like any other soothing substance or entertainment.

What does that addiction look like?

Well…We want others to know about it; so, we talk about it all the time. We want others to soothe it; so, we display our wounds before those who would follow us on social media. We want others to say how right we are to feel what we feel and to validate our dysfuntion. Truly, we want others to be as consumed with our pain as much as we are; all the while we never allow ourselves to be healed.

It sounds and feels right to do so; but the truth is, we want someone to validate and acquit us of our brokenness while we remain in bondage to our pain.

I know how all this sounds. But remember, I’ve been in those shoes, and those shoes don’t wear well.

Life is found in our living…no matter our weaknesses! God has given us a great gift—life flows from within not from without.

So…how can we begin, today, to break our addiction to pain?

  1. Set your mind on the truth of the Word.  You need a perspective greater than yourself.
  2. Live from the innocence of the blood of Christ.  His sacrifice, has for all times, made you whole.  Declare it over your life.  Praise Him for it.
  3. Cut your tie to isolation.  Our pain is not unique to us.  We are actually partnered with an entire world full of people with pain.  So don’t hide out.  Believe with others for their best life so that we can ALL move forward.
  4. Keep moving.  Life is in front you.  The past is only a memory.  Keep moving even if you have to live from one minute to the next.
  5. Do what you can.  No matter your limitations, imagined or real, you can always do something to fuel dreams, love, and creativity.  You can always build bridges somewhere that lead to something greater.
  6. No one can rescue you like Jesus.  Humans can sympathize, but only Jesus can recreate.

So, let’s go live. And no matter what the battle is, you are better than what it’s telling you.

21 Comments

  1. Oh how I love living in the Spirit. I woke at 4:15am and talked to the Lord. I praised Him for the love through rescue I’m witness to. My road through pain changes. I’ve never set a date to live through my addiction, but January 6, 2021, us it. I’m a child of God whose peace and life is with the Holy Spirit.
    This week, and the last 3 months have been a constant attack using my past to break me from walking in the truth. January 6, 2021, I woke to a battle for self satisfaction vs the truth. IMMEDIATELY the Holy Spirit made me aware this was also me. The flesh will fight for what its lost to keep me in bondages. At that moment I decided no longer to choose pain but life. I know and feel adjustments in my mind and heart. The You Holy Spirit for guiding me to live in POWER not past.
    THANK YOU Pastor for your transparency and connectivity. I Jesus’ name amen.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Also faith. Its not just a word its a way of life. Living it changes everything. Prayers for believing and receiving what is unseen and unknown. It is exciting!!
        THANK YOU JESUS.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Phillip! I love your testimony of continual living by faith. You stand strong and you always return to the revelations the Lord gives you. Keep walking, my friend! Love it!

      Like

  2. AMEN! THANK YOU, LORD JESUS!
    Recently I was thinking “take up your mat and walk.”
    Yes, His blood speaks a better word.
    We are the Bride of Christ. We are One (ehad)

    Thank you, pastor James.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing, this means alot. This will be a tool that I will use to help ME along , my path.
    The HOLY SPIRIT, is making it alot more easier an more comfortable for me laugh again.
    Thank you, thank you for being so open, honest an true.
    I , who have been in pain physically, emotionally and mentally for sometime now needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim, Thank you! I love your openness to the Lord, and how you are always sensitive to His Word and leading. Your testimony through all your trials is a strength for the rest of us!

      Like

      1. Your welcome, I may not understand why my journey is filled willed such pain. But GOD, has ALWAYS CARRIED ME through it. An if my testimony , helps someone in anyway, then I guess that my purpose for it all.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Jim, your story is brutally honest and exposes the pain we have all felt for those that have been in that pit of torment – the very cliff of personal destruction, absent from all hope. But that’s where the lie ends because I believe the Lord will use the vulnerability and inspiration of your story to change the course of someone’s life today! When one walks through the valley of the shadow of death as you described, they will never experience life the same again, regardless of how they exit on the other side. We must cling to Jesus because He first loved us, He knows us by name and Only He can reset the course of our life. And that pit that the enemy schemed to use as a dungeon of personal torture and destruction, is transformed into a mighty fortress of praise and thankfulness to Jesus. Amen and blessings to you, your loved ones and the brothers & sisters at Zion’s River.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Mike! Thank you so much for sharing from the deep place of your heart. Your words are truly a blessing; they have moved me in brand new ways. I take them to heart. Blessings to you as well and over your family!

      Like

  5. “No one can rescue like Jesus”; Yes! Yes! YES!!!
    To ponder what we get to walk through in all it’s difficulties and to rise up out of it to see our Rescuer having held held us through it ALL! THAT’s FREEDOM! Thank you for your transparency, testimony, and teaching laid before us to glean from!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael Davis wrote these words: He knows us by name and Only He can reset the course of our life. And that pit that the enemy schemed to use as a dungeon of personal torture and destruction, is transformed into a mighty fortress of praise and thankfulness to Jesus.
    Knocked me off my chair!! Perfect discription of my past year involved in a toxic and totally unequally yoked relationship! I ended it, and In the last 4 months, I have been healed and restored. I just found Zions River and been watching the last few weeks from Pastor Jim. I am blown away by the “perfect timing” of it all. In the past few days, I have realized that I am still in my mind romanticizing the good times, which make me sad and keeping me connected to the pain. I wondered if I was “addicted to pain” as the reason for not totally letting go. I told the Lord that I was ready to be set free from this obsession so I could reset my life and move on with no desire for this man in any way. VOILA. . . . .Zions River and this blog this morning. Thank you Pastor Jim and Michael Davis for sharing. The WORD for me! I am going to come visit Zions River this Sunday. I have a feeling I am about to be RESET into my next purpose and destination. GLORY TO GOD!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol! What an awesome testimony to the Lord’s movement in your life. Jesus is definitely always on time! Thank you for taking the time write this and to share. I’m really looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. Please feel free to come up and say hi…I would love to meet you face to face. I’ll be praying for you!

      Like

Leave a Reply to Michael Davis Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s