The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
We have a litter of nine Goldendoodles right now. They are three weeks old as I write this. The mother has been a fantastic mom taking care of them, but then she developed mastitis. She is on antibiotics and pain medication but has not been able to have them nurse because the pain is still too great. She stands outside their pen licking them and watching over them. Every once in a while she tries to walk in with them but then stops herself. She remains on constant vigil just beyond their reach. She loves those puppies but pain is keeping her from taking care of them like she wants and like they need.
I was praying for her this morning. Praying for her healing so she could take care of the pups she loves so much. I couldn’t help but see the parallel. I have four pups myself. Three are grown but we still have a 14 year old at home. A fourteen year old who at times is neglected, a fourteen year old that would love do things with his mom but, all too often, pain keeps me on the peripheral of his life, a fourteen year old who has been gracious and understanding and patient, a fourteen year old I would dearly love to take care of the way it is in my heart to do. Much like my momma dog longs to do with her pups. But between me and my son is a wall of pain.
Pain is a thief. It was never part of God’s plan when He blessed me with children. His plan was that I would walk in divine health and be able to take good care of each and every one of my kids, not just the ones who came before the pain instead of after.
Jesus came that we might have life and that life more abundantly. I have heard people comment that God gave them pain to teach them lessons. While I don’t doubt that there are lessons that only pain can teach, this verse tells me exactly who delivered the pain and it wasn’t God because pain is a thief, plain and simple.
Dear Jesus, dear, dear Jesus, I marvel once again at Your goodness, at Your foresight, at Your ability to know my needs even before they present themselves to me. Thank You for the life You died to give me, a life that is filled with abundance. May Your resurrection power be at work in me today. Please help me to recognize the works of the devil – stealing, killing, destroying. Forgive me for the times I have accused You of putting pain on me. Help me to walk in the abundant life You came to give me. Amen