I have felt pain before, I have cried before, I have felt like God disappeared for a moment, especially the moment when I thought I needed Him the most to at least show me what to do about life’s issues. And when I finally felt He was around again, He didn’t even “apologize for ‘leaving'” even though I thought He would, but He only reminded me of how God He is when He said “I never left and I will never leave you”.
Surely, pain come to us all in different forms and each one responds to pain differently. So I can’t say I know or understand your specific pain and neither can I say I have the answer to how to respond to it. But one thing however is clear and like most things that happen in our lives; pain is not necessarily a bad thing if understood for what it is. There are lots of ways to see or respond to pain when they appear in our lives, but permit me to just highlight two that I have personally used or which I have learnt to use.
Pain as a stopper
There is something about pain and hardship that we face in life and how they birth in us and with us new perspectives about life and living. For me personally, I believe pain was created to be a stopper on our life’s road. Yeah…that sounds weird I guess. See it like a red traffic light that makes you stop to think and reconsider the fact that you are not alone after all on this journey of life. There are other “road users” riding right beside you, adjacent to you and even opposite you especially. Pains are like reminders; they are sent to us to make us stop, review and reconsider life from the place of humility and consideration for others. I have read a few times the stories of privileged people who lived with so much pride and out of this world kind of attitudes. To them, no human being is worth anything. They created this fantasy about themselves in their heads that tends to make others look like jokers, either because they are rich, or from a rich family or even academic geniuses. To them, others are only useful when they give strength to their futile fantasies. And as it has been with most of such people, they only come to their senses on their sick beds when their money and the futile bodies that they have spent so much money to package can’t seem to help. Right there in their helpless state, they begin to rethink life and the futility in it and then somehow, especially the one God decides to help, they repent of their madness and become humble. This aspect of pain as a reminder to stop and review has worked for me very much to the point where if I hit my toe on a stone or if something happens that is not usual, I immediately get very sensitive about things around me and put things under quick judgment to see if I am missing something or if the divine mind of God is pointing something out for me to see. And I am not saying that the ultimate way to be sensitive is through pain alone, but that being able to stop and review in the face of pain is surely a way to demystify pain and make it work positively for us. Sometimes, for those that are prophets, they even receive the pains of others that may be thousands of miles away from them, whether they know them or not. Sensitivity to stop and review in the face of such pain will make you see what God is showing you about others. This has happened to me several times and I get to understand how the mind of God works over distances and how to respond to such.
Something else also stands out about pains; I think they are specially ingrained in the lives of those who have been destined to be custodians of life’s wisdom and understanding. It’s almost as if there is no one who has cut through life’s average that didn’t go through one pain, persecution or the other. This reality is so true that I wonder if there is ever any other way to learn life’s wisdom apart from the hardship and the pain we face. We live in a hyper real world where the god of this world called self has a lot of influence; a self-centered world in which men have forgotten how to be human among men. A dirty, capitalistic world where it’s easy for people to see others just as pawns in the grand money scheme of things. It’s a sad world we have created and I think the Divine Judge of heaven has a way of bringing pain our way just so maybe we can learn to wake up from our little luxurious bed of selfishness and self-glorification and realize that life is not so much about us alone, but about all.
Pain in obedience
Of Jesus who is also God, it is written that He learnt obedience by the things He suffered. Now what is obedience? Obedience is simply the alignment of a man with the wisdom and mind of God which causes such a man to take actions that he may not necessarily want to take outside of such alignment to God. In the case of Jesus, and sometimes in our lives also, God places some kinds of demands on us that will not be naturally acceptable or convenient for our flesh and desire. In this case of pain through obedience, it is always for our good and even the greater good.
Why do humans reject pain?
People have various reasons for lashing out when pain gets to their backyard. But for me, I think two of the main reasons why this happens are that, most people lack the basic understanding of the meta-physical reality of life and also many are too self and convenience centered that they can’t think that what they consider evil or “not convenient” is actually for their own good. So it’s really about basic understanding of the reality of life and also the reality of meta-life. For instance, take the human body as an example. When the human body has been stressed beyond a certain level, it shuts down or you feel pain somewhere within or in your muscles or even get a headache. Such pain may serious or not depending on how deep the stress has gone. Meta-physically, the divine Mind may just be prompting someone to pay attention to their body through the pain. And sometimes, humans reject pain because it brings them to the place of humility. A place where their so-called strength is completely used up and their human weakness is laid bare for them and others to see. But in any case, that pain or bodily inconvenience may have been sent to make you stop and review.
Pain is not meant to kill you. In fact someone said that without pain there is no gain. Meaning pain is meant to show you that something is not doing right or it’s time to stop and review. Even as it concerns our bodies, pain doesn’t just show up out of the blue. Pain comes when there is a disunity or disharmony of the various body parts.
As part of re-consideration for pain, let us look at the story of the man named Job in the bible. It’s a popular story and also happens to be, according to bible scholars, the oldest book in the bible. For me, the book of Job is one which has not been properly interpreted by many. According to the bible book of Job, Job as a husband, father, community elder, went through every form of pain available to man. The emotional pain of losing his first set of children, the financial pain of losing his entire wealth, the spiritual pain of losing his items of worship to God i.e. his animals for sacrifices and worship, the social pain of being destitute, the bodily pain of having boils all over his body and the various other things that happened to him. At the end of it all he was restored. But the question is this, why did God allow Job to go through so much pain? I will try to give two answers, even though I am sure there are other answers. Firstly, God was making a loud boast to Satan about the faithfulness and godliness of Job, even without Job’s awareness. For clearly according to the story, Job’s pain began the moment God asked Satan “have you seen my servant Job?” Second answer, God was redefining fatherhood as it relates to sonship, daughterhood and inheritance. See Job 42:13-15. God was showing or using Job’s life to tell the story of the restoration of the female side of God which was lost to deception at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Make sense? Another question to ponder on is this, if scripture had not shown that God had a conversation with Satan about Job, would we have known what caused Job’s pain? I don’t think so, except if we were told by the Spirit of knowledge. And would we have also known that the fatherhood expression of Job prior to losing his first set of children was faulty? I don’t think so either, for he seemed to have the perfect family, worship and business setting. But God knew all of those things that Job was not aware of. You will agree with me that if Job had not gone through all those pains he went through, he would have not come to a place in his entire life where he could say to God “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job 42:5. Job came to know God intimately through his pain. And that knowledge of God is all that matters even if he had died in that pain.
So my people, even as you muse over these words, do not take your pain for granted and also do not over think highly of it beyond what God allows you to. There is beauty in pain just as the beauty of gold only appears through the pain of fire.