Have you ever wondered about people in pain? Not the broken-leg or antibiotic-relieving pain, but the tormenting kind that not only upends daily schedules but also changes life’s trajectory? If not, then you dodged a big one. But many do not enjoy what others take for granted. As a Christian, I’m compelled to ask, “Is this pain genetics? Bad luck? Sin? Punishment? Or an occurrence allowed by God?” I believe God’s allowances may be the bottom line, but if He does permit, then why?
A big part of life’s pain equation can consist of opportunities to nurture unique qualities unavailable to those enjoying pain-free life. Because, you see, life membership in the chronic pain-partakers club offers the following advantages:
In how God views us – with extraordinary attention. “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes,” Isaiah 40:11.
In how we view God – from a place of hurt and humility that illuminates. “. . . the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those . . .” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
In how we connect with the sufferings of Christ – with knowledge that Jesus intimately knows our misery. “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too,” 2 Corinthians 1:5.
In how we understand the suffering of humankind – from a privileged point of alert compassion and intense empathy. “But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort . . .” 2 Corinthians 1:6
In how we face the future – with full identity in Christ. “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Phil 3:10.
In how we enter eternity – with hope. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away,” Rev 21:4.
Would one freely choose this life of pain? I doubt it. But we can recognize it as a positive, and of course, stretch our view beyond the physical! How are you appreciating the pain in your life?
Blessings of God’s allowances! Prayer requests?
“Dear Lord, Help me now to trust your perspective of pain and suffering. Thank you, Amen.”
Existing in Pain the Right Way, PJ
COPYRIGHT ©2016 PJ Gover