Hey friends, how are you today? How was your week? The past few weeks have been busy for our family. Busy is not a word I want in my vocabulary when it refers to me, especially after the past two years, but here we are… busy. Now to be un-busy that is the question because this week promises to be more of the same. How are you doing? Has life brought ‘busy’ back into your realm, or did ‘busy’ never leave?
Happy spring, my friend, although I’m not so sure our weather got that memo. Presently there is about four inches of snow on the ground. My husband, the ‘snow shoveller ’ in the family was not too happy with this turn of events, especially after we had been enjoying the best of spring weathers. I’m not sure the birds are too bothered though, as they still flitter from tree to tree perhaps in search of a mate.
A few years ago, in our Sunday school we delved 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 cesarean section for the birth of our first daughter, lying on my hospital bed in wonderful bliss. I was so very thankful; I 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 childbirth. 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 the excruciating pain that followed my first 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 do, they called my doctor, chickens! My doctor was my Mom’s doctor, so what choice did I have, when she showed up? None! She was not having it! Gently but very firmly and sternly she spelt out what I had to do. 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 pain can be a gift. What is the purpose of pain then? How should we 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 endure the pain, I have been called to experience throughout this journey of life? Here are 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 or our minds or our hearts. Pain is pain, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. 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 pursue opportunities to be a blessing to others. Spending time with others helps us to put the trials of life into perspective. 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 whatever 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”.
Trust the Lord, He is always good and He always remains faithful. How do you handle pain? Whether mental or physical or emotional?