Are you looking for a place to belong? You’ll receive a warm welcome at Richmond United Methodist Church.
We are a church dedicated to Jesus Christ. We are committed to outreach and to minister in His name.
There is an array of family-oriented ministries providing opportunities for children, youth, and adults to grow in faith, to enjoy Christian friendship, and to serve Christ.
There is a place for you at Richmond United Methodist Church.
Dealing with Pain
We accept that there are many different kinds of pain. A burn feels different from a splinter, and hurt feelings are even more unique. As such, we also recognize a wide variety of sources of pain – I grabbed a hot pan, I was sanding a wood project, I was embarrassed.
And yet, normally we can differentiate between pain we cause ourselves and that which comes from an outside source. If I injured myself as a young person because I was an idiot or made choices that put myself in harm’s way, then I don’t have anybody else to blame besides myself. Conversely, if I was injured because of somebody else’s foolishness or poor choices, I may seek a lawyer and financial recourse. If nothing else I may raise my voice for a while.
But how should we react when we are wounded by following Christ’s instructions? One of my earliest mentors in the faith explained to me that engaging in ministry inherently puts us “in the line of fire.” We must make ourselves vulnerable if we would take seriously the call to love like God loves, to be obedient even as Jesus obeyed.
Clearly, Christian love is not meant to be painful, but to truly follow Christ means that we will be susceptible to being wounded. If we would encourage the downtrodden and frustrated, we must understand how they feel. If we would bring healing to the hurting, then we must go where they are. If we would see relationships restored and hearts mended, then we must join with people who are hurting themselves. We are called to support and love them as they move toward wholeness.
To accomplish the great goal of loving like Jesus, we will encounter other people’s injury. We will feel their pain. But what do we do with it – how do we process pain outside of ourselves that is not ours, yet we still hurt?
Dear friends, this is a worthy goal and a holy problem to encounter. Our goal must never be to pursue injury, nor to think that we are sufficient in our own actions to meet this goal. Instead, we are called to be ministers of Christ, to be vehicles of His Holy Spirit in moments of pain. And so, we must take these wounds to God in prayer. We can trust that He will minister grace and peace to our hearts. Even more, we will encounter the touch of His power in a special way as we seek to become more like our Savior.
I am reminded of the pre-flight instructions airlines always present: “In the event of a loss of pressure, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling in front of you. Get your own mask in place before helping those who need assistance.” This is good advice for us as Christians, too. We must first be in right relationship with God ourselves before we can help others. And as we bless them, we know that the Holy Spirit’s work through us is a gift for us, as well.
In Christ, Byron