As the old joke goes:
Patient: “Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
Doctor: “Then don’t do that.”
Most all of us are willing to take that advice. If I’m doing something that is causing me pain, then I’m certainly willing to stop doing that. Too often it seems in life that we encounter pain that we really did nothing to cause it. So if we can’t figure out what we did to cause it, how do we stop it?
The thing about pain is, it demands to be felt. The problem with pain is that it hurts.
C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
No one enjoys hurt or pain, and yet, life happens, and many times when it happens pain is involved. Young or old, rich or poor, pain has no boundaries. No one is exempt.
From birth, the beginning of life, to death, the end of life as we know it, pain is involved.
Ask a mother giving birth to her first child, and she’ll quickly tell you, “It hurts.” Capture the expressions on the faces of those mothers in the delivery room, and you don’t even have to ask. It’s called “labor or birth pains/pangs” for a reason.
At the other end of the spectrum, attend a memorial service, and again listen to the sounds of, and look at the expressions of, pain. For those that remain, it hurts.
From the beginning to the end and throughout life on this earth, people deal with pain.
We learn about hurt and pain early in our lives. The cries of a young child are quickly hushed by those soothing words, “There, there, now, let mommy kiss it and it will stop hurting.” We grow up and go through our entire lives, looking for someone, or some thing to make us stop hurting, to make the pain go away. Make it stop, now! Drugs, alcohol, relationships – just give me something or someone to make the pain go away. It has been said that no one commits suicide because they want to die. They do it because they want to stop the pain.
You’ve no doubt seen or heard the expression: No pain; no gain. Many gyms and fitness centers have banners and posters proclaiming this. Every year in January, these places are so crowded, that you can hardly find an available machine. Amazingly, by the middle of February, many of those same places are almost deserted. Why? That hurts. That’s painful.
Those who work out on a consistent basis, understand that to reap the rewards of physical fitness, there is pain to work through. Those who have those buffed bodies, did not get there without some pain along the way. Those who are dedicated to it are disciplined and realize that you don’t just workout on days when you feel like it.
Likewise, those who understand that to reap the rewards of spiritual and emotional fitness, there is pain to work through. As believers, we are not exempt from the hurts and pains of life. In fact, God’s Word is fairly clear that we will encounter pain.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have troubles. But take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8
In the battle between the rock and the stream, the stream always wins. Not because of power, but because of persistence. If you’re dealing with some type of pain in your life, let me encourage you – DO NOT GIVE UP! God is for you and because He is for you, you can make it.
It’s a multiple choice test. You have 3 choices:
Give it all you’ve got.