Hey friends, how are you doing? How has been your week so far? What were your plans for the year? Have you accomplished any? Today we enjoyed a beautiful, bright, sunny day.  Our temperature rose to 84°. Can you believe it? 84°! Thank You, Lord! Right now, at 9:33pm, I can hear the sounds of children playing out in the distance. They are talking and laughing as they enjoy the warmth of the night.

Jazz the cat

That’s the beauty of days like these, everyone enjoys them, even Jazz, our cat.  As she spends time outside, she tries her very best to catch the birds. They just laugh at her, as they fly past, literally calling, “catch me if you can’.   Thank You Lord, have I said that before?   I love beautiful, bright, sunny days, they are a balm to my soul.   What’s the temperature in your neck of the woods?

beautiful days like these

This week in our Sunday school, we will be delving into a lesson tilted ‘the Gift of Pain’.  Isn’t that a funny title for a lesson?  The ‘gift’ of pain? Is pain a gift? Can pain ever become a gift?  Can I decline that gift? Perhaps I don’t want that gift, Lord.  Can I say no to that gift, Lord? 

I remember, after having a C-Section for the birth of our first daughter, lying on my hospital bed in wonderful bliss.  I was so very thankful, I had, had a no delivery pain. When the nurses came to tell me, I had to get up from the bed and walk around, stupidly, I thought I had somehow managed to escape all the pain that came with child birth.  

Should have reread Genesis 3:16, perhaps then I would have been a little apprehensive about that order from the nurses.  Nothing prepared me for that excruciating pain that followed my attempt to just get off the bed.  I very emphatically told the nurses, I will not move, I’m staying right there; in fact, I will live in that bed.  So, they did what nurses did, they called my doctor; chickens!   My doctor was my mom’s doctor; what choice did I have, when she showed up? None! She was not having it! Gently but very firmly and sternly she left me with no choice.  I had to get up.  I thought I was going to die, I thought my brain was going to explode, the pain was everywhere.  

Have I told you my pain tolerance is rather low? Ummm, well according to my husband it is very low.  I don’t do pain well.  Perhaps I should have asked for natural birth, but I asked the Lord for C-Section and He said, ‘okay’.   As I write this, I am convinced I can still feel that pain. The ‘gift’ of pain.  Yet without that pain, the option would have been to accept a world without our two very precious girls! I suppose then that pain can be a gift.  What is the purpose of pain then? How do you respond to pain?

We have several examples of people in the Bible who suffered from both physical and mental pain.  People like Joseph; he was sold into slavery, by his very own brothers! Read that story in Genesis 37.  Then we have Paul who suffered physically with a ‘thorn in his side’ in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. We see in these men a snippet of their acceptance of the pain they must have endured. How did they do it?  How should I handle the pain, I have been called to endure?  Here are my five steps.

Surrender – wave the while flags; let’s give the pain to the Lord.  We will lay it at His feet in surrender; we may even feel better.  

Submit – our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. Our God isn’t surprised at the pain coursing through our bodies. He allowed it for a reason; we will perform His will, whatever it may be.

Subdue – the desire to wallow in self pity, or frustrations and anger is never far away.  We will not give these emotions the authority to rules our lives. These too, we will lay at the Lord’s feet.  

Seek – rather than stay in the cocoon of pain and the emotions that come with it, we will search for opportunities to be a blessing to others. Believe it or not, we are not alone in our suffering.  Some do not even know the Lord as their Savior.  Can you imagine their pain?

Serve – let’s choose to work for the Lord in what ever manner, He has called us to, wherever He has called us.  We will work well, in spite of the pain, so that we can hear the words, “well done”.  

How do you handle pain; whether mental or physical?