Thankfulness: Pain

As some of you may know, I live in consistent pain; I don’t remember a day without pain. Pain has always been the lens through which I’ve seen the world and feeling discomfort and hurt has influenced my paradigm significantly. While I have good days and bad days and the amount of daily pain I experience is lessening, the pain is still there nagging at me.

I used to pray that the pain would go away. I would beg and plead with God even before I knew he existed. I would believe with all of my faith that he would heal me as he’s done for so many other people and then be crushed when the healing didn’t come. I have asked for prayer many, many times, each time hoping that prayer would do the trick and fighting the doubt that always managed to creep in when the pain lingered on.

I no longer pray for the pain to be taken away. Today I’m even thankful for the pain. I’m thankful for the strength and faith and perseverance that God has given me to get through even my worst days. I’m thankful that Jesus experienced pain and can relate to what I’m feeling. I’m thankful for the pain because it tells me that something is wrong. I’ve recently been in a lot of physical pain so I’ve changed my routine some and have seen results. While the pain isn’t gone, I’m thankful that my body is telling me that I must make some changes. 

Pain always has a purpose, it’s our job to find the root of the problem.

I enjoy looking at processes and procedures, identifying what works best, what needs work, and then making changes to maximize efficiency. One of the questions I like to ask is “What are your pain points?” I want to know what the person I’m helping can identify as an issue. If they can point out to me something that’s wrong in the system, that’s a great way for me to get started. It’s almost guaranteed that the thing they identify as the problem isn’t the root, but it’s a great place to start.

I think our lives are the same way. What are the pain points of your life? Are you in physical pain? That tells you something about your body. Are you experiencing emotional pain? There’s a root to that symptom. Is there some relational pain? A strain has been exacerbated in that relationship that needs to be mended.

Instead of masking the pain with distraction or addiction, let’s get down to the root cause of the pain. I believe that God is honored when we take extra time to examine these things.

“God delights in concealing things;
    scientists delight in discovering things.”

Lord, I am in awe of the fact that you made each one of us. Thank you for designing each one of us the way that you did. Forgive us for the times when we’ve refused to draw closer to you. Thank you for giving us pain points to encourage us to dig deeper into ourselves and who you are. Help us to better respond to ourselves and others as we draw closer to you. Thank you that you are with us even in the pain. Amen!

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