Life without pain leaves one numb to joy

By Joan Clayton : Religion Columnist

When you were just a plan in the mind of God, what if he were to ask you some questions about your journey on earth?

With incredible technology having been accomplished already and the God given intelligence to master such feats, it is not inconceivable that God could show you your entire lifetime, from birth until death on his giant computer? You would see all the pain, sadness and injustices of your life. You would also see the joys, the love, the victories and the successes.

What if God said you had a choice to be born? If you denied that choice, you would never have experienced the agony of a broken heart or the ecstasy of the oneness of love. What if God revealed his purpose to you for your life’s journey?

Would you go or stay? The choice would be yours. If you chose to stay, would you experience the heights of heaven on that final day? Would you waste your life … self destruct? If you never experienced pain, rejection, troubles and sorrow … would you not take heaven for granted? Would you be so used to heaven you might not even appreciate it?

I believe God has a purpose for every person born. I also believe that the highest form of selfishness and immaturity is “I wish I had never been born.”

To be given a chance at life is the highest form of love. The most amazing miracle occurs at birth. Everything about your personality was conceived in that microscopic cell of conception … your total being, your talents, the color of your eyes and hair, your stature, your abilities … they were all there in that tiny little cell. Is that not miraculous?

Life is such a wondrous thing. I call it “Life Is Delicious!” It’s an adventure and the best thing about it is a loving God who helps his children to live life to the fullest.

“‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is my favorite movie of all time. In the movie, Jimmy Stewart’s superb acting depicts a man weighted down with problems. He wished he had never been born and gets his wish. He is permitted to see how life in his town would have been without him or his beloved wife and children. When the wish was reversed, his joy became immeasurable because he was able to see the purpose of life … to lose oneself in love for others.

If the Lord were to give me a choice, I would exuberantly exclaim, “Yes, Lord!
I will go to earth. I will take the risk. I want to live and love!”

I may not be loved in return, but I will risk rejection and I will risk the pain. It hurts to love, but it’s worth it because I will experience indescribable joy and ecstasy of love.

Along the journey and with God’s help I want to seek forgiveness, to let go of resentment and bitterness, anxiety and grudges while studying his Word for the blueprint of my life. I want to overlook offenses, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 NIV).

I want love to be the guiding light in my life, expressing love to those close to me.
I want to do all I can to make life cheerful, finding something beautiful in each day.
I want to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 NIV).

So I choose life. I will fight the fight! I want to return to God a different person than I was before. I will also say, “Thank you Lord, for my time to live on earth. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”

I’m so glad that you and I were born!