"God doesn't waste pain." -Barb Gorman
Go back and read that again.
Pain comes in many forms from emotional to physical. It ranges from dull aches to sharp excruciating throbbing that makes it hard to think...hard to breathe. It can makes silent tears fall or grief wails escape from the throat and swirl around a person like chains. It can make a person walk with a limp or be curled up in a fetal position writhing in agony.
What good does pain do? Does it do anything good?
God created us to feel pain. For a good reason, just feeling it gives us an adversion to what ever caused it. Pain also alerts us to problems emotionally and physically. Pain alerts our body to a problem as well. As healing begins, continued pain helps us to not over use the healing muscles.
Pain isn't any fun. Some pain can be endured knowing the reward that is coming, like a mother giving birth. Or crying about an emotional hurt can physically hurt but a calmness comes afterward.
Lately I have had to deal with some physical pain. I used to think I had a high pain tolerance. I homebirthed three boys with no painkillers. I have battled migraines and sprains without using pain killers. Even broke a toe, I think, and though I almost passed out, I never even thought about taking ibuprofen. But lately, I haven't dealt too well with physical pain. Either it has been very intense like a level 8 or I am getting wimpy in my old age.
But as I deal with it, Barb's words from years ago come to me again. "God doesn't waste pain." There is purpose to the pain I feel, emotional or physical. Purpose? I looked it up and most people can come up with ten reasons pain is a good thing. Really?
Easy to say but hard to remember at 3 a.m. when your shoulder is killing you and you are desperate for relief as well as sleep.
Pain is humbling. It makes us vunerable, weak, and needing assistance. It can make us irriatated easily with others which reveals our true heart condition. Pain makes us prioritize, choosing which activities are most necessary and which ones to let go for now. Pain gives others the opportunity to serve us and makes us realize how interdependent we really are. Pain makes us appreciate our good health more. Pain tests us to see how quickly we will let us use it as an excuse to be lazy or manipulate others. Pain challenges us to not be controlled by it. Pain is a tool in the hand of God. He alone is sovereign. It makes us seek His face and examine ourselves. Pain gives us an adversion for sin and disobedience, for straying and reaping negative consequences. Pain is not necessarily a friend, but it isn't always the enemy. It can be our school teacher.
At our church's midweek service, our pastor talked about how the disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer. Counted worthy.....not quite the attitude I have had as I recall painful events of my life. In fact, that the Lord counted me worthy to suffer never entered my mind until my pastor mentioned it. I pretty much equated that verse with being persecuted. Never thought of it as I struggled through emotional or physical pain. I wish I was there yet. I am not. Knowing the correct attitude to have and having it are miles apart.
But I can start the journey. I can choose to look to my Lord and let His presence be enough. I can look to the cross and remember what He bore for me. I can put on a smile and praise the Lord that though, I physically hurt, I am not alone. I am not forgotten. Quite the opposite, I am counted worthy. And my Lord has great grace sufficient for the pain, for the trial, for the struggle.
Once again He reminds me, He is enough.