Throughout our lives we will all experience pain. Physical pain, mental pain, emotional pain, etc. The good news is, despite the type and intensity of the pain, all pain has a purpose.
Think About It
In every way we experience pain, pains purpose is to make us aware that something is wrong that needs to be addressed.
It could be an injured body part telling us to slow down before it gets worse, an overwhelmed mind telling us to get rid of the noise in our lives and rest before we have a meltdown, or a broken heart telling us to talk through our problems to restore fellowship with those we love. Despite what the specific type of pain is, all pain lets us know that we need help in a specific area.
Sometimes the help we need can be self-administered like wrapping our knee or pulling a splinter. Sometimes the help we need can be found in the strength of others like going to a friend for Godly counsel, comfort, and advice. And frankly, some of the help we need can only be healed through Christ like when we experience life changing events that only He can control like the death of a loved one or serious medical diagnosis.
In all of these moments though, especially the ones that seem the hardest, the pain we feel typically turns out to be the sweetest blessings in the end. You see, when we realize how helpless we all truly are and run to our loving Father and ask Him for help, it is in His open arms that we find true Comfort, Love, and sometimes the answers we seek.
Notice I said sometimes. While we all want answers now typically, it is not uncommon for us to have to wait. Sometimes we don’t get the answers we seek right away because we are not ready, but rest assured, Gods ways are always perfect and He will gives us Comfort and Peace in the meantime. And whether it be in this life or the next (eternity), all the answers we seek will someday soon be revealed- completely, and perfectly.
Shaking Your Head?
Knowing that some of you right now are reading this article are in GREAT pain, I promise you, it’s true. You can have comfort and peace even now in this moment despite circumstance. GOD REALLY DOES LOVE YOU AND CARE.
Today, you and I have no idea of the pain the other might be going through. The intensity of it, the seemingly hopelessness of it, the isolation it brings. Sometimes we hurt so badly there appears to be nothing we can do (been there; bought the postcard).
However, in these circumstances especially, we must accept the truth that this is not the case. I promise you that. And my promise isn’t from an academical source, theoretical source, or even a second-hand source. My promise to you is from first-hand experience, and more importantly God’s word.
You see right now as I type this article for you, I’m in great pain- physically and emotionally. My jaw and teeth are lit up with chronic physical pain so great it is radiating behind my eye and distracting me (Trigeminal neuralgia since 2005) and my heart is heavy because of the recent news of my fathers cancer and bleak prognosis.
So Why Am I Telling You All This?
I’m not telling you this for some wine & cheese, to share a sob story for attention, or to have you feel bad for me. I’m only opening up to you and sharing some of my personal experiences with you so you can see that I truly do care and have experienced at least some of what you are facing. More importantly, I have also experienced the healing that goes along with each. Remember, we can all be healed.
Maybe not always physically or the way we planned or think we want, but healed on the inside where it counts. A healing that can’t ever be bought, transferred, or explained, it just is.
Again, so you know I am speaking from personal experience and not just thin air, here’s a quick list of some other painful things that God has seen fit to bring me through. While I am sure there are many more examples in both of our lives, can you relate to any of these?
- Lost a loved one that can never be replaced. Someone who truly loved me unconditionally.
- Abandoned by one parent as a child physically. Abandoned by the other parent as a child emotionally.
- Isolated and alone for many, many years.
- Bullied from the 5th grade through my Junior year of high school- by students, and some teachers.
- Was physically ill for years as a teen and told I was a hypochondriac and depressed when in reality I had a tumor the size of an orange in my head. Found when I was 18 and removed surgically. Tumor grew back and was removed again. Grew back a third time and was then treated with intense radiation for about a month followed by 3 very frustrating years of recovery. You see, my face wasn’t just hurting other people back then, it was hurting me too. I feel much better now.
- Made some money; lost it all due to no fault of our own. Made some more money; all gone again due to medical bills. Doing well now; who knows what tomorrow will hold (Hint: Only God does).
- Often misjudged and misunderstood by people who never took the time to get to know me.
- Critically ill again in 2007 with a completely different problem and told by several doctors to get my affairs in order because it didn’t look good (no one could figure out what was wrong). Suffered more from the mental torment and frustration of my spouse and children having to watch me die than from the aliment. After 3 years of intense daily pain God healed me through the help of our friends at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota- they found it. Again, I feel much better now.
- Told I needed to be on pain medication the rest of me life. (completely med free now)
Now while we could all go on to list literally hundreds and thousands of pain areas that we face, emotional more so than even physical, let’s get to the good news- All Pain has a Purpose.
That’s right, it really does. So if you are experiencing pain right now of any sort, as hard and impossible as it may seem, here is quick list of some of the Truths that got me through these challenging times, and will get me through many more. Now, whether you believe in God or not, understand these truths still hold completely true. God is there for you too. You just need to acknowledge Him and ask for His help. And beyond our flesh, it all starts with our soul (Romans 10:13).
Truths to Help You Through the “Hard Times” and the “Good”:
God loves me. This isn’t just a phrase to put on postcards and t-shirts, God really loves you. He knows what you are going through, and for whatever reason is allowing it will ultimately benefit you if you Trust Him. Just like a Good father loves his child and would die for them, Christ not only would die for you, but has died for you already (John 3:16).
God is always Good. Even when we don’t understand it, there is a plan, and a perfect one at that. Whether we see it or not, as a believer, God is always there by our side. Our perception of a situation as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ doesn’t make it so. God is only Good. Hence, when we follow Him, all things work together for Good to those who love God (Isaiah 55:8 and Romans 8:28)
God is not a vindictive God. This one really helped me when I was in literal physical pain each day so intense that I wasn’t praying for God to help me through the day anymore, but through the hour. You see, for a long time I thought that all the pain I was experiencing was some form of punishment. WRONG! I mean yes, we do need to examine ourselves and confess and forsake sin, but God is not a vindictive God. He is not going to torment us. Correct us yes, but torment us, never. All through the bible when people chose to sin against God and would not repent, God allowed them to be killed them immediately. Not in an irrational or bitter anger, but in a just way. The day I realized that God is keeping me alive and allowing me to experience this for greater things we a truly transformation day and filled with peace. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
There are no accidents. Everything that happens to us either has been allowed by God (like In Job) or caused by God. Again, not for our hurt, but because we or someone we love somehow needs it. There are no accidents, coincidences, or “unlucky” breaks (Psalm 37:23),
There is something I can learn from this. Along the same lines, know that whatever you are going through today, or have gone through in the past, is only preparing you for the future. Exactly what you are facing is in God’s perfect plan to help you, others, or both GREATLY down the road (Romans 8:28)
God’s not done with me yet. That’s right baby! God has a special and distinct plan for you, and me. He uniquely created us for a purpose, and our purpose obviously isn’t complete yet because we are still here. So if you really want to go home and get this life over with, make sure you are looking, listening, and living in a way that takes advantage of ever opportunity God gives you. You may be surprised how He uses you to Glorify Him and help others in a way you never imagined. Plus, did you ever notice how when we are helping others our pains and problems get better if not completely go away? (Colossians 4:17)
I Can Beat This Through Christ! Forget what the doctors, your family, and outsiders say. They may care and truly believe what they are saying, but through prayer and the Holy Spirit you have a direct connection to God- use it! And remember, if your still around, He’s saying you’re not ready yet. Two verses that always comforted and inspired me to keep fighting were Luke 1:37 and Philippians 4:13. Look them up, print them out, and paste them where you will see them everyday. God’s not through with you yet; don’t quit!
Never Quit!! Leading us to the last point of the day. As Winston Churchill said in his famous speech, “Never, Never, Never Quit.” Now I have to be honest, there were many times that things were so bad that I actually thought it would be better to die, but what kept me going were the above principles and knowing that I was still on earth for a reason. If that was the case, and it was, it would be wrong to take my own life. It would dishonor God, send a lousy example to my kids that it’s ok to make decisions that only God should, tell them it’s ok to quit something before the time, and keep me from fulfilling the perfect and beautiful destiny God had for me. Now being on the other side, please here these words as someone has been there, if you are ready to quit, press on! He will give you the strength you need to endure each day. And remember, you don’t need to worry about the big picture, just focus on today. And strange as this may sound to some, many of you will find comfort in this fact. Our lives will only last about 72 years statistically. Some longer, some less. So worst care scenario, even though it feels like an eternity, it’s not. We can only suffer for a limited time on this earth and then we have the rest fo eternity to rejoice- no pain, no sorrow, no more tears!
A great pastor and counselor friend of mine, Dave Cotner, summaries the above in what he calls the “GAP” Truths. Things we need to remember to fill the “gaps” in our lives when we are struggling.
- God is always Good.
- There are no Accidents.
- Pain has a Purpose.
Hope this article helps you to find peace and comfort in all that you are facing today, and will face in life. If you ever need to talk, please do not hesitate to give us a call. And remember, whether it’s one more day or 60 years, know that God loves you, has a VERY special plan for your life, and don’t ever, ever, ever quit!
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