Your Pain can be your Inspiration
We are afraid of pain, so much that we do everything we possible can in order to avoid experiencing it. We try to escape from pain in any way we can, but the more we do so, the more we find it in front of our face, staring at us right into the eyes. If you have ever struggled with trying to find a purpose behind your pain, then you need to read this. Maybe it’s a sickness that has lingered far too long. Perhaps it’s a long-standing medical ailment that will only get worse over time, accompanying you for the rest of your mortal days. Maybe it’s a relationship that’s causing you pain, other family members unable to get a handle on life and you’re left suffering the collateral damage. Perhaps it’s a job that drains you or a boss whose only aim in life is to make you miserable. Or maybe your pain has to do with your faith. You could be feeling that God is silent, absent and not answering your prayers.
The purpose of pain
Pain is a universal experience that serves the vital function of triggering avoidance. The pain sensation is a necessary part of being human. Dr. Paul Brand, a great medical missionary, worked with lepers and saw the suffering that they went through. One of the problems with leprosy is that the leper can no longer feel pain in the leprous parts of his body, and Dr. Brand talked about what a tragedy that was. He said, “If I had the power to eliminate human pain, I would not exercise that right. Pain’s value is too great.”
There is a protecting purpose of pain. Dr. Brand said that when a healthy person has an injured leg, he develops a limp that causes him not to put weight down on it. A leper will sometimes wear away a wounded part of his body because he feels no pain. He might burn a cigarette down until it burns his skin and never feel it. He doesn’t have pain to protect him. Pain tells us something is wrong and protects us from harm.
There’s also a unifying purpose of pain. Pain unifies the body. Dr. Brand said, “I can tell the health of a human body by its reaction to pain. If the body doesn’t react to pain, I know that something there is dreadfully wrong.” Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? The first thing you do is grab it. Then, you pop it in your mouth. Finally, you do a little dance. I don’t know what your knees have to do with your thumb, but you have to do that dance. When one member suffers, every member suffers with it.
Finally, there is a correcting purpose of pain. It tells us that something is wrong. If we didn’t feel pain, we wouldn’t know we were sick, and we wouldn’t seek an answer. World changers typically have their greatest impact where they have experienced the most personal pain.
Are you afraid of confronting pain?
We live in generation today that feels pain, but rather than trying to get the pain settled, we seek a sedative. That’s the reason why many are on drugs. That’s why some people look to alcohol or get involved in an adulterous affair. Others watch television and live in a make-believe world because television may be the biggest sedative of all. But as much as we try to avoid it, we need the pain to tell us there is an infection, a sickness. It has to be dealt with.
We’re naturally drawn to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It’s encoded in our DNA and our brain. We’ve found myriad ways to distract ourselves from pain lest there’s a moment of silence when we might confront it. We push pain deep into our unconscious, and keep it there, buried yet well alive, and we’re always afraid that at any time in might erupt and we’ll come to experience it.
There is significant purpose in your pain.
Are you hurting? Is there pain? Do you have a broken heart? We all experience pain, and even suffering at some time in our lives. While our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it, get rid of it, or numb it; we need to realize that God allows pain. You can’t create a masterpiece without mashing, sculpting, and molding the clay–and then throwing the whole thing in the fire. Something significant happens to us when we are void of what we depended on. There is significant purpose and promise in your pain. The pain you are experiencing now might be your life’s purpose later.