Numb Numb Numb

This post over at Desiring God, "The Wine Jesus Drank," reminds me of the commitment Jesus had in his last days and hours to fully fulfill his life's purpose: not just to die but to suffer. How else to explain His rejection of the first wine offered to Him while He was on the cross, which would have numbed the agony, and His acceptance of the second wine, which sustained His consciousness longer than without? And yet how often do we, when faced with life's pains, running the gamut from the slightest discomforts to the deepest hurts, find ways to numb ourselves from it?

I'm not advocating masochism. But I am trying to be true to the example of the One I profess to follow. Suffering for Jesus was not an unfortunate but necessary side effect of fulfilling His life's calling; it was the fulfillment of His life's calling. And so I believe that there are times in our lives that we must not run from suffering, nor even relegate it to secondary status, but embrace it in the anticipation that God means good and redemptive purpose from it. Not in spite of it.

When we numb, we miss out on that blessing. When faced with the chance - twice - to be numbed, Jesus chose instead to endure and embrace the pain. We are the better for it, for the work that was accomplished in that enduring effort, and for the challenging example it provides for our own lives.

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