Pain is dreadful. Physical or emotional pain is equally unwelcome in our lives. We are willing to go many extra miles in order to avoid pain. Sometimes, we venture out too far.
Instead of dealing with the root of pain, which often is a matter more complicated than we are willing to tackle, we go after quick fixes – addictions and other sorts of unhelpful tricks, just to numb the pain.
But does it need to be numbed?
Dealing with a trivial but very painful and lengthy sickness sent me on a search for pain relief that could be a strong enough alternative to prescription pain medications. I stumbled on a medical article that addressed patients with chronic pain. It suggested that when pain medication ceased to help, the patients had to change their view of pain. I almost laughed at the ridiculousness of this . Obviously, I thought, whoever wrote this had never dealt with the kind of pain that felt like someone was kicking your exposed nerves with a steel toed boot.
The pain got unbearable in the evenings. It made me feel isolated and desperate. There was no way I could view this situation in any other way but awful.
As I got better, however, I found myself one day missing the pain. After the initial impulse of checking myself into a mental health facility, I started to analyze this feeling. I discovered that the excruciating pain removed everything in the space between me and God. In fact, it shrunk the space between me and God and brought me to closeness and dependency on Him, like I had not felt before.
“Hear me as I pray, O Lord . Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “ Lord , I am coming.”
This intimacy between the Father and us only occurs under extreme circumstances, when we have nothing and realize that He is our everything.
We were created with the ability to feel pain for a reason. Once we were expelled from the safety of the Garden, God activated the protective mechanism of pain as a call button to get our attention, to summon us when He needs it…when we need Him.
I am happy not to be in pain. I hope to never experience this kind of pain again. My view of it however, has changed ..I have discovered its value, something to help me next time to be patient and trusting of the work He is doing in me.