God when the pain is gone, will I still be able to rely on myself to come to you for conversation? When I don’t need to come because your voice is the only soothe for the pain, will I still come?
Mark not unless I give you a new pain.
God did you honestly say that?
Oh man. I don’t know what to say. If I tell others this, it will make you seem harsh and I know you’re not. And what’s more I don’t know if I can live with this level of pain for the rest of my life. And yet I must keep coming to you for this conversation. Life is nothing without it. I don’t want to be too comfortable to need it, but I don’t know if I can cope with this level of pain for the rest of my life. Can I?
Mark just listen. The good news is that you don’t need to.
But you just said I needed new pain.
Yes. You need a new pain. A good pain. Highly addictive. A ‘no pain, no gain’ sort of pain. Mark an athlete needs pain. He needs the pain of exercise, it forms and shapes him. The exercise shapes his body, the pain involved shapes his mind, his will, so that he is prepared to keep exercising against the pain.
I will give you a new pain. A good pain. A healthy pain. You have said yourself that you cannot live without this conversation. You have said yourself that it is addictive. And so it is. How could it not be? A conversation with the Creator, no less. Highly addictive! So where is the pain? Mark you are now walking through a new door in this conversation. You are finding that doubt is less powerful, that you are more sure, constantly more sure that this is me talking. As a result the reality of these conversations is sinking DEEP into your heart. You know it’s me, you crave my voice.
And that’s going to be the very source of the pain. This time a good pain, a satisfying pain, a ‘no pain, no gain’ sort of pain.
The more you hear my voice, the more you will crave it. The more you crave it, the more you will come back. You won’t be able to live without it. Life without the voice will be painful, confusing, distracting. You’ll find you need to come back, again and again and again. Without my voice, even for a few moments, nothing will work, your relationships will be so lacking, your business so pointless. You will be like a man with a new wife, unable to bear a moment, pained by even just a moment out of her presence.
I kept expecting you to say that the pain will be in the hearing. Not so much in the NOT hearing, but in the hearing itself.
There is pain in both the hearing and the NOT hearing. As I said, like an athlete. There is pain in the exercise, as it shapes the body, the pain also shapes the mind, the will and as it does, new pain happens in the mind, the pain of commitment. The pain is good, satisfying, and it works at many levels.
The pain of conversation with me works at many levels too. You’re right. That was my voice you heard. There will be pain in the NOT hearing, and there will be pain in the hearing too.The pain in the hearing will come from hearing me so clearly, so closely that I will invade your very soul. No longer will that just be something you read in the Bible, and claimed as though you understood it when you felt my presence. The feeling of my presence isn't even the half of it Mark. When my voice too invades your mind, when you cannot escape the voice, when no matter where you are, who you are with, when you can hear the constant voice of the Creator speaking, the intense clarity of seeing creation as it really is.
Mark the pain will be intense. It will transform your mind, it will lead you, and the result will be you will become a son of God.
How can that be painful?
It is the pain of love Mark. The rawness of my closeness, when it is almost too much to bear. The pain of beauty without ugliness. Because as you hear more of my voice, the gaps for the enemy to speak into will be less and less. The pain of being loved and realising that all of your hopelessness is a lie. The pain of knowing that the Creator sees you and calls you loved, accepted, desired, wanted. That he, the lamb of God, is vulnerable to you, runs to you.
You find this a hard concept to grasp. How can all of that be painful? It’s the intensity Mark. The pain of knowing the heart of the Creator. Not the 'man of sorrows' Creator; not just him, but the Lord of Joy. The Lord of the Dance. The Lord who invented laughter.
You will, if you keep this up, and you will Mark, there is no doubt, you are addicted now; if you keep this up you will find that the intensity of my presence causes you to wonder whether you can bear any more. That’s a good pain to have.
“Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.”
“he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice”
“[When Moses came down] he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.”
You'll begin to understand the Trinity, the intensity of our love for each other. You’ll feel that in the very depth of your being. It will be almost too much, too big, too beautiful to bear. THAT’s the pain I’m talking about Mark and the smell of it, the promise of it, the reality of it will hold you so that you can no longer escape your lover’s embrace. And what a lover! God, the trinity, the Son, the Father, the Spirit. Blinding light.