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Blog #19- My Superpower

I am the master at avoiding pain. Well, let me rephrase that. I am the master at planning to avoid pain. It’s a gift, really. My superpower. I have the ability to think through all potential ramifications of any particular event or interaction in about a nanosecond. Ok, maybe two nanoseconds. You get the point.


Not only can I see these potential scenarios playing out, but I can quickly rank them into which one will most likely happen. And if any form of pain, disappointment or frustration rise to the top of the “most likely” list, I scratch it from the daily docket.


Nope. Not doing that today.


I aim for smooth sailing, no speed bumps and lots of sunshine.


Kids are often asked what superpower they want. Being invisible, flying or super speed usually top the list. You don’t see kids asking for the “pain-free-master-planning” power. Including me. I don’t particularly want this power. For two reasons. One, it is exhausting. Two, I still end up in pain somehow. My nemesis is that one scenario I wasn’t expecting.


Yet I continue to live by way of my superpower.


I find myself directly relating to a story in the book of John. Let’s see if you can find me in this dialogue. Hint: I’m not Jesus. Here’s the background:


A man named Lazarus was really sick. Jesus was good friends with him and his sisters. Jesus gets wind of his illness and tells the disciples He wants to go see them in Judea. Read the specific details:


Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”


“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” (John 11:5-8)


There I am! Did you hear me? Judea? Why go there? That place was bad news last time.


That’s the superpower kicking in. Judea = potential pain. That place ranks high on the “most likely” list. No can do.


But look at Jesus in this exchange. The verse says He loved them. And that love, upon hearing of the illness, prompted Him to go. Where? To the place that had a high potential of pain.


Pain for Him.


The only way to step into a potentially painful situation is with love. Love says, “This might hurt. This might be hard. But out of my love for you I am headed that way.” Pain is self-centered. Love is not.


And here is the cool thing. When we step into a potentially hard situation with love, we find those potential situations we didn’t see coming. We find that we can overcome rejection, learn to forgive or find a new beginning to a situation that seemed like a dead end.


Because look what happened! (Spoiler Alert!) Lazarus ended up dying. But Jesus went to Judea and brought Lazarus back to life. I bet the disciples hadn’t planned on that scenario.


I am in search of some kryptonite. I want to neutralize my own powers and plan my day with love as the catalyst. I want to stop letting the potential of pain prevent me from doing something. I want to be surprised by the scenarios I didn’t see coming or the ones I thought were impossible.


It takes work to choose the hard, the uncertain and the scary. But the power that raised Jesus (and Lazarus!) from the dead is available to us (Ephesians 1:19-20).


That’s the superpower I want to access.


Be Intentional What are you avoiding because of the potential for pain? How does that avoidance impact others? Out of love for them, consider facing it today.


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