Pain is defined as “Physical or mental discomfort or distress.” We are all familiar with the concept of pain– as all of humanity has experienced some degree of pain on this planet. In fact, most of us go through life trying to avoid pain altogether.
Through time; and with the help of some books and broadcasts, I began to see pain in a different light. Although pain will never be enjoyable, I began to understand that it can be viewed as a teacher.
Pain makes us aware. Pain makes us pause.
The last couple years, I have suffered from debilitating migraines. I will wake up in the middle of the night with terrible pain that can last for a few days. During this time, I can barely lift my head or even speak. I cannot taste, and sometimes even smell. My world narrows to the crack of light under my eyelids that I cannot bear to see. Pain certainly brings my days’ plans and intentions to a grinding halt. It is the same for everyone. Pain can and will literally force you to slow down. Thus,
Pain makes us think.
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
Perhaps if nothing else, pain will make us reconsider our ways, or how to avoid future pain.
Pain may make us change our ways. It can teach.
Just like effective discipline for a child, pain can teach us just as thoroughly. For instance, the pain of paying back debt will/should teach us to be more frugal or financially prudent in the future.
Pain can draw us closer to God. Pain is humbling.
Physical pain, spiritual pain or the pain of losing someone close to us can draw us closer to God-if we do not harden our hearts.
“The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.” (Job 36:13)
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
Through all ups and downs of our lives, God sees us. But perhaps, because of the very focusing nature of pain–in it we can see Him more clearly.
Further helpful reading/broadcasts:
“Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend (in regards to natural consequences)