When pain bears down on us, how hard is it to keep going? We ask ourselves, “What did I do to deserve this torture?” “Why can’t my family and friends appreciate how much I hurt?” The pain and hurt haunt us and punish us for being alive.
We’ve all been there. We all know what it feels like to have pain bear down on us. And when the pain bears down on us, we go to war against ourselves. We battle against life. We drink until we fall. We caress the pistol and taste the steel. We drive reckless and wild, hoping, praying even, for the strength to let go of the steering wheel so the pain will finally end.
We want to blame other people, but at heart, we know we only have ourselves to blame.
In the dark, we don’t call dad, or big sister, or pastor. We marinade in guilt. We become bitter thinking about the future pain our current pain will cause. In these ways, the pain gets to be too much. We try to live with it while deciding whether or not to give up, give in, or stop it once for all. We try to live, but the pain won’t even give us time to do that.
Enough is enough. Enough pain, enough hurt, enough bitterness, resentment, and hopelessness. Enough! When we are in need, we can say, “Enough is enough!” When we don’t think anyone can reach us, we can say, “Enough is enough!” When we are in the wrong place, at the wrong time, at the wrong moment, staring down death, we can say, “Enough is enough!”
When we are in need, we can say, “Enough is enough!”
We don’t say it because we are enough. The statement is not pie in the sky optimism. We’re not trying to “fake it until we make it.” But we can say it because someone already died our death, bore our pain, and carried all our hurt. When he’d gathered it all onto himself, he said, “Tetelesthai.” That means, “It’s finished.” Or, in everyday language, “That’s enough.”
Jesus said, “That’s enough,” to all our pain and hurt. So now, we Christians who are brought to our knees by pain and hurt can say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Will it suck tomorrow? Yes, probably. Will a six-pack give us relief? Perhaps for a moment. Will the casket open? Yes, someday it will, because Jesus died for that one too, and he rose from death for so we can all rest and be comforted by the truth: pain is temporary, but Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and Life. Jesus is our Resurrection and our Life. And nothing, not pain, hurt, resentment, bitterness, or hopelessness can separate us from God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
Nothing, not pain, hurt, resentment, bitterness, or hopelessness can separate us from God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
So say it. “Enough is enough!”
We can say it because Jesus said it to the pain, hurt, resentment, bitterness, and hopelessness. He said it as he gathered all of these to himself on the cross, and buried them, once and for all, in a tomb about a twenty-minute walk from downtown Jerusalem.