When the Solution is the Hardest Thing
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
One of the hardest things about being a physician is that often, I must cause pain to bring about healing. The toddler with a laceration doesn’t understand why I must inject an anesthetic before suturing his wound. The child with a fractured arm can’t comprehend why I must set and cast the bone when it already hurts. If you left the decision up to the young patient, he or she would often refuse treatment.
You’d think this would get easier as we grow up. Understanding the why should make it better, right? Still though, as adults, pain remains unpleasant. Often, we know the solution but we avoid the uncomfortable thing, refusing what we know we must do to grow, transform, or find healing. The smoker knows he should quit, but that requires difficult, radical life change and so, he continues to engage in behavior he knows to be destructive. The overweight patient knows he needs to put in the hard work of behavior modification, but it’s easier to simply remain where he’s at.
In today’s passage, Paul described the source of life’s greatest struggles. He said that it is through man that death and destruction entered the world. We are our own greatest life problem. He also said though, that it is through another man, Jesus Christ, that we can know life instead of death. Jesus is the answer to our all of our greatest needs.
The problem for many of us, however, is that the solution is also the hardest thing to accept. I don’t mean to say that we have a hard time believing in God. It’s easy to say we believe. I mean that practically, we have a hard time abandoning our way to follow his. Paul said that our way is death and that Christ’s way is life. We can know and understand this, but in the daily application of it, we continually refuse the solution to our problems as we insist on following ourselves.
Daily killing the old life is difficult painful work. There’s no way around it. So, many of us just limp along, refusing to find healing because the solution is too painful to accept. If we want to find recovery, transformation, and the new life though, we must grow up and embrace the solution that Jesus offers – abandoning our way for his.