One of the songs we used to sing in the traditional church—I think the title was Lay down your burden—has a line in it that goes something like this, I know some lessons hurt to learn. A line from another song says something like, It isn’t a sacrifice, he’s my life. I have been thinking about this a lot in light of this journey the Father has us on. Please pay attention. I truly believe this isn’t a journey of our own doing—true I have given my consent to go—but rather one of the Father’s choosing. There is a huge difference. I recall singing these songs from the depths of my being, almost crying out to God, “Hey, take notice here!” I guess he did. Why is it that some lessons hurt to learn? I think there are as many answers to that as there are people who have had to hurt while learning the lesson. But for me I have seen three areas that speak to why the lesson hurts. In the bible we read about men and women who trusted God. Abraham trusted God but wandered for years as a nomad looking for a place to call home. Joseph trusted God and for years was wrongfully imprisoned. Esther trusted God but had to do something she did not want to do then risk her very life in order to save her people—the process took years. David trusted God but spent years running from those wanting to kill him. The bible is full of such stories that drive home the point that some lessons hurt to learn. The foundation for everything in a relationship is trust. I yield to you because I trust you. I submit to you because I trust you or I give you my life, because I trust you. The fact that I trust you means that I am free to love you because I believe that I can bear myself to you without you laughing at me or running in horror the other direction. In other words you trust then you love. To be sure there may be some emotional attraction or appeal that sets this in motion, but love that is not, (as Yoda—who is not a bible character—might say). The reason the lesson hurts is because of trust. “I trusted you and look at what that’s done for me!” This is where the relationship is tested. Just like in human relationships, you are at a crossroad. How do you go forward? You have trusted them up to this point, but look at this mess you are in. Do you walk away or do you hold on a bit longer? I mentioned this in the last post. The love of the Father is so deep that he allows you to change your mind as any time in the journey. There is a story in the New Testament where Jesus spoke about some difficult things to swallow. It says that many of those following him turned away and no longer followed him. Once he saw this Jesus turned to his disciples—catch the dynamic of this—and asked them the question, “Are you doing to leave as well?” He did not do this out of spite because the other’s left. He did this out of love—holding them with an open hand as it were. He was saying to them if our relationship is at a crossroad, what decision will you make? His disciples answered him by saying—it is rather humorous to me—“Where else would we go? You speak the words of truth.” To me it is like the disciples—probably Peter—saying, “Well Jesus if there were someplace to go, we might consider it, but hey man, you have the word, so we’re hanging with you” (Evans paraphrase). This is where the second area of this lesson comes into play. This is where you ask, “What’s your motive anyway? Why are you doing this?” These are fair questions to ask. Although I cannot speak as to how another person may answer these questions, I can give an answer on how the Father will answer them. Since the answer is rather in-depth, I will take it up next time.