“No pain no gain!” That saying came to mind as I watched my daughter’s track practice. After finishing a series of intense sprints, runners were crouching over and gasping for air. Some even looked for the nearest trashcan, feeling ready to lose their lunch. They were definitely in pain, yet the pain was serving a purpose as the team gears-up for its next meet and each participant strives to improve their competitive edge.
Looking at the character of the Father’s Holiness we noted last week that pain is involved, a pain that serves a powerful purpose. We can’t enter into the Holy presence of our Father without a total exposure of who we really are. Isaiah quickly found this out when He came face to face with the glory & holiness of the Sovereign King of the Universe, “Woe to me!….I am ruined!” cried this once proud man (6:5).
But for God’s dearly loved children this pain is to lead to the greatest of gains, which is His healing presence that restores our broken, sinful hearts. As Isaiah stood spiritually naked before the explosive purity of the Father King, there was a purpose and a mission was unleashed to cloth the shame-filled prophet:
“Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (vs. 6-7).
This verse states that the purifying coal from Heaven’s altar now covered Isaiah’s sinful heart; the blood of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, now drenched his heart. This vision points us to the pain of the Cross, where the Father’s perfect one and only Son became naked and exposed with my sin and the sin of a rebellious world. The Holy Father turned away from His precious Son because His Holiness demanded it. Impurity was now dealt with forever and nothing would be able to separate God’s children from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
The gift of the Father’s Holy Presence will always take us back to the healing power of the cross. The place where the Son’s pain brought to us the greatest of gains, a restored relationship to our Holy Father. Last week I shared how an encounter with the Father’s Holiness brought me to a humble and broken place confronted by the depths of my sin. Yet, He did not leave me in the depths of despair He preceded to usher me back to the completed work on the Cross. And covered me afresh with garments of praise, a “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:8.
In the midst of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, worldwide terrorism, and riots in Baltimore, our world needs a Sovereign, Holy Father who leads us to the Healing power of the Cross of Jesus Christ. This is the only hope for a world groaning in unbelievable pain. Please continue to pray to the Father to unleash His Holy Glory anew in our day (Ex. 33:18). Indeed, through the pain there is great gain!