The Pain of Love

Jeff Munroe

Read: John 11:28-37

He was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. (v. 33)

The most popular song in the history of Norwegian radio was the rock ballad version of “Love Hurts” recorded by the band Nazareth. “Love Hurts” was number one for 14 of an amazing 61 weeks on the Norwegian pop charts! What is it about living among cold and dark mountains and fjords that makes a song with lyrics like “Love hurts, love scars, love wounds” an all-time favorite?

My guess is this: the song expresses an often overlooked truth—love brings pain. Jesus felt this when confronted with the death of his friend Lazarus. He empathized with the pain of loss in Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha. He saw the crowds of mourners. And eventually he saw where they had laid Lazarus, causing him to feel so moved and troubled that ultimately, “Jesus wept” (v. 35).

Over the past few days, I’ve mentioned taking the initiative in our relationships. I say this knowing that love opens us to pain. If Jesus felt this, we certainly will feel it as well. I have not lost a spouse, but I have lost a parent, grandparents, and dear friends. One day not long ago I picked up my cell phone to call a friend, and only when I looked at his name did I remember he had died. Love hurts. But avoiding relationships to avoid the pain of love can bring worse pain. God is a lover, and made us to be lovers, even when it hurts.

—Jeff Munroe

Prayer: Thanks for loving us, Lord; may we love each other.