It was not until I moved to the US that I discovered how collecting specific items was a thing that people took very seriously. Passionate collectors make it their primary mission to find rare collectible items for their satisfaction. There are several collectible items people choose to collect, items such as coins, chinaware, figurines, books, stamps, paintings, signed baseballs and the list goes on! Have you ever been around people that collect similar stuff? If you have never done so, I suggest you do because the conversation is full of passion and desire for the next item they plan to collect and display. I was graced with the opportunity to be around such conversations for an assigned project in college that involved me visiting an Antique store and I never thought doorknobs were that important till that day. There were two passionate doorknob collectors that shared their love for collecting door knobs that could not stop raving about door knobs and how they add character to a home. The antique store I visited had what they needed, a variety of doorknobs that they took the time to carefully study and share their thoughts on each one. While I didn’t have the interest to learn about doorknobs, one thing that was very clear to me was that these people were passionate and it would take a lot to convince them that the doorknobs to me looked like every other doorknob. There was nothing that screamed meaningful to me about the doorknobs and that is because it is not my thing and I did not share the same passion as they did for doorknobs.
To my knowledge, I don’t think I collect specific items, but I was thinking hard on collectibles this week and that is why I am writing on it. I will obviously be use collectibles to talk about collecting pain because pain can be a collectible too! Don’t believe me?! Find two people in conversation that are dealing with similar pain and reference back to my story about the two doorknob collectors.
How do we collect pain you ask? Well, for some of us it starts as early as our childhood and then over the years it piles up. We get to our adult years and we have been bruised and battered by the pains of this world. It is very easy at this point in our lives to even display our pain without even noticing we are doing so because it how been with us for a long time. Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays there findings. Pain is usually displayed through our anger, hatred, depression, bitterness and sorrow. And then we get around other people with similar pain and we share our pains like a crazed figurine collectors. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not shared from a place of healing, but we still hold on to every pain because it feels safer to hold on to it rather than letting go. You become a hoarder of your collectible pains, just like any other collector, you have a tough time letting go because it is meaningful to you and no one felt what you felt right? I get it, I have been there too! I thought my pain was my trophy, but in actuality it was my prison. Truth is that it very easy to pile up on pain after pain if you continue to allow pain to dictate how you live your life.
Unfortunately, when we continue to be around those that are dealing with similar pain, healing can be difficult. In that case, we need to surround ourselves with those that want your healing and theirs too. What this does is that it encourages us to focus less on our pains and start to desire healing. All of us have dealt with pain, big or small it is still pain, but how we decide to deal with pain determines how long we will stay in that prison. When Jesus was on earth, he did not just heal people physically, but he also healed the broken. Jesus wants to see us healed and whole, but we have normalized pain that we find nothing wrong living our lives full of it.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalms 34:18 NIV
Rest in this verse that tells you that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. People around you may not understand what this pain really did to you, but he know and he wants to save you from all of it, not some, but all! You have to stop treating pain like a trophy and realize that it is a prison you need to be set free from. I challenge you today to treat pain as a give away, all the pain you have collected over the year needs to be given to God. It is time to clear out the display of thorns and time to replace the thorns with crowns.