I think we would all agree that when we're in pain, it sucks! The bottom line is that if you live long enough, you will endure some type of mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual pain. Whether the pain is the result of an accident, loss, caused by health conditions, or just poor decision-making, pain is inevitable (if you're riding on "cloud 9" right now and you're doing well, good for you but be sure to bookmark this post because you may need it at some point in life). I believe the sooner we learn how to cope with pain, the stronger we will become. Here's what I found out about pain:
Pain causes us to depend on someone/something greater than ourselves. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on where we find help. When we have a broken bone, we realize the ability to fix our bone is beyond our control, so we go to the nearest ER to get a cast. When we have emotional pain, pain from loss, or death, we should realize that God has sent people to comfort us and help us out. Just look around and be sure to dispel the myth that "no one understands" or "no one cares". That's not true! Find someone to talk to.
Pain causes us to grow. Bodybuilders illustrate this point very well. A bodybuilder will put his/her body through extreme training and physical pain to break down muscles and build strength. The pain of benching, curling, and lifting breaks down the muscles but those muscles redevelop with more strength and definition. This same is true when we endure other forms of pain. When we effectively overcome painful events in life, we grow stronger and more defined (if we are training properly).
Pain keeps us humble. Some of us deal with the issue of pride. We may think we're all that (and a bag of chips - we used to say that a lot growing up) or that the world revolves around us. But it only takes one life event (like a bad play in a football game) that will change the life and attitude of the star player. Pain helps us keep our lives and attitudes in check.
Pain helps us relate to others. When we go through pain (and successfully make it "to the other side"), we find it a lot easier to understand and relate to others going through the same painful situations. We actually care and can give them pointers and tips on how to cope and overcome when we have been through similar situations.
Pain is not permanent. Too often I see or hear about people making permanent decisions based off of temporary pain. One of my former students committed suicide a few weeks ago. While the details of his death were not completely clear, reading through his social media pages led me to believe that he was dealing with some type of depression. This literally broke my heart. Although pain may sometimes never seem to end, trust me! It does! Don't entertain the idea of making a permanent decision such as suicide in an attempt to numb the pain. That is never the solution.
For me, the worst time of my life was growing up as an adolescent. My unwavering relationship with God and the awesome people he placed in my life helped me realize that I could handle all of the unfortunate situations that came to me. Second Corinthians 1:3-4 says it this way, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” So hang in there and realize that there is a greater plan for you even though it may be tough right now. There are people that can help you when you find it tough. If you are dealing with pain and it seems overwhelming, be sure to reach out to someone. Feel free to send me an email or comment below anonymously if you need someone to talk to.
Written 7/6/2014 by John Weaver