Whether physical pain or emotional pain, it is real and it can weild a heavy hammer upon our lives. It can distract us from the mindset that we want to have or the things that we want to do – and it can lead us down dark paths.
Sometimes we know clearly what caused our pain. While other times, we might cry out to God, thinking, “Why me, Lord?”
I try not to fall into the “what did I ever do to deserve this” question, because I truly believe that I deserve the pit if measured by my actions alone, so there is a healthy bit of fear that kicks in and warns me about this question.
And I’ve experienced my share of pain, from kidney stones, broken bones, broken hearts, depression, and unexpected consequences of my foolish actions in this life. But how do I know how my pain compares to yours? How do I know if my burdens have been light while yours were heavy or if mine were heavy while yours were light?
You see, I can’t know your struggles, the demons that you wrestle with in your life. Many will look at my life and think that I have had it easy. Many will look at my life and be surprised by the trials that I have survived and the demons that have been overcome. But we are each given our portion of trials in this life.
And what is the real purpose of pain and struggle and trial?
If I am a believer, then pain is an opportunity. It is a powerful opportunity to bear fruit, to cling to hope, to rest in faith, to trust in love, to persevere. But I’m going to tell you, in the middle of the deepest, strongest pain – I’m not interested in being an example, I’m not interested in shining forth, I’m just looking for it to stop.
But don’t come to me in the depths of my anguish and tell me cheerful stories about God, don’t pour salt into my wounds. Those words ring familiar as those of the religious, those with knowledge that puffs up, those with accusations and condemnation to pour our upon the world around them.
No, come to me and cry with me. Hear my pain and acknowledge it, know it, share it. Know that my reaction to that true, deep pain – it is not a measured or planned reaction, it is raw and untouched, it is untouched by refinement, and it will be the few times when the mask comes off and my true nature is revealed.
So what comes out in the middle of true pain, true struggle?
It is revealing. It will tell us a lot about ourselves later when we look back – but today, today in the midst of the pain and struggle, I cry out. And the truth of my heart is visible. It hurts. It is not fun. I’m ready for God to make it stop.
this temporary pain,
Even in its intensity as it overwhelms us,
It cannot overcome that which is eternal.
Thank you for the blessing of pain in our lives.
Thank you for the refining power that it has to reveal what is truly underneath our masks and our walls.
Thank you for the lessons learned, the healing, and the shift in perspective that comes when we rely upon hope, faith, and love to carry us through the pain.
Thank you for knowing that the passions of this life will one day be cast aside in an eternity where there will be more more tears for your children.
Thank you, Lord, because your way is best – even the pain you have purposed for your glory.
Glory be to God in the highest!
Even in my pain, He is triumphant!