Saturday, November 6, 2010

What to do about pain?

Pain is a natural result of affliction.  Some afflictions, like a yucky cold or an argument with a close friend for example, create just enough discomfort to cause you to reflect on how much better you felt beforehand.  This, in my opinion, is a necessary element in building up our thankfulness banks.  

Not often do most of us sit down and just thank God for feeling "fine".  But when we are feeling a bit down, I bet I'm not alone in thinking to myself, "Man, I wish I felt like yesterday.  I wish I were more thankful for how good I did feel yesterday." And though you may now be thinking of being thankful regardless of your present circumstance, as you begin to feel better, your thankfulness "deposit" is much weightier than it would have been otherwise.  I believe that this type of pain can actually be worthwhile and pleasing to the Lord in it's ability to draw us nearer to him.  It also can help us to reevaluate whether a dispute was really worth the cost and put things into a healthier perspective.  

Before I continue, I want to make clear that I am definitely not saying I understand the cause of all pain and suffering.  I have (and continue to) experience it, and have grown because of it, but there is suffering so deep and real in this world such that I could not even imagine.  Just thinking about the suffering that some people are accustomed to is enough to stir up the pain/ need in me to do something to help.         

That being said, I do not believe that pain needs to be (or should be) an ever-present factor in our daily lives.  I will go out on a limb here and say that even in cases of extreme loss or physical distress that it is possible to find freedom from our pain and experience true healing.  Sometimes it may just be enough time for us to catch our breath and renew our strength but it is enough to keep us going.  It may be a matter of time or faith or prayer or numerous other things for our pain to heal but trust that it is God's desire for you to be well.  I encourage you to read James 1 for more direction on this.  Verses 2-4 say this: 

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  

If you can believe that God's will is for you to be well (emotionally, physically or spiritually), then you can come before him with faith.  You can lay down any blame or guilt you may be feeling and ask for forgiveness and know that it is yours.  When these things happen healing will follow.  Thank him for it, even if you don't "feel" it, or feel like doing it.  

Thank Him for what He is doing and what He will do. 

His love for you is so great and so real.  

Read his word and be encouraged! 

This post taken from my archives, as I continue to reflect on the Lord and where he wants me to go from here!