Wonderings About Pain

They say (whoever “they” are) that pain is the great equalizer.  All people go through pain of some kind from time to time in their lives. None of us are immune.

The saying has more to do with the “how” we see ourselves inside of pain rather than just saying that we all suffer. What I mean is, we all suffer yes, but pain tends to bring together people who suffer and it takes away the judgmental spirit that we posses when things are going fine.

For example, we may treat a person of a different race in a derogatory way until we suffer pain and someone of that race helps us. Or if we see someone suffer from another race, we just feel pain with them and color of their skin disappears.

Another example is that of religious differences. We tend to think of people in a different group from us as just a little (if not a lot) strange. Yet, let a tornado come and blow another’s building down and watch us all come to the rescue. We help without even thinking about it.

I wonder though is it always true that pain equalizes things? If you look at my sufferings and think, “Man, I’d trade my problems for yours in a heartbeat.” If I look at you as though I had “worse” problems than you, does that make any sense?

Job said, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” James tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Paul said in Romans that the hard times to produce patience, character, and hope.

Tonight I spoke to my friend who has a son with a brain tumor. He told me about so many kids who had cancer problems worse than theirs where they have been getting their treatments. To even speak the word cancer in the same breath as your child’s name has to be one of the most devastating things in the world.  Yet here is a man who sees that there are others in worse pain than him and he counts his blessings.

I have to end these wonderings by saying that we are all equal when it comes to PAIN. We just have different circumstances that determine that which we feel. A man with cancer hurts, but so does the man who has been robbed.  Both hurt in their own situations, but most of us would choose robbery over getting cancer.

I believe that in a broken world pain is going to come and no one will escape it. The real question is, “What do we do with it?”

The answer is always faith in God. He can and will take us through. He has promised and will rescue. The problem with us is timing. We want it now, even if God wants it later.

Today has been rough for me in my thought processes. I wonder why I’m where I am. I wonder if I’ll ever get back to doing that which he has called me to. I wonder if I’ll ever not struggle again. I wonder.

I don’t wonder about His listening to me. I know by faith that He does.  Without that hope, I’d be a crazy man right now.

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4 responses to “Wonderings About Pain

  • Meowmix

    Pain is an equalizer, to be sure. It is also a great perspective-fixer. I’ve heard it said that if we all hung our troubles out on a clothes line like unwashed laundry, we would all rush to gather our own because everyone else’s would look far worse. But, as you suggest, the fact that someone else’s life struggle may be a far worse situation than ours doesn’t make ours less painful. It just makes us understand the feelings of pain we all have. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling so. God sees and God knows, and He has a plan. Another friend once said, “I know He has a plan; I just wish He’d let me in on it!” You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sonny Owens

    I have heard and read and “had” come to believe that a certain situation was worse than death. One I love very much has found them self in that certain situation. The pain I feel as a parent is horrible. As I said I “had” come to believe that it was worse than death. About a month back I came face to face with a mother and dad that recently lost their daughter to death and I realized that my pain is not worse. I still have my daughter. Praise God from whom a blessings flow.

  • gregengland

    Working at a mortuary gives a different perspective on life, for sure. The owner of our land / building (Josh’s father in law) just returned from 10 days in Haiti … talk about perspective!

    I wonder about you a lot (probably should call you and talk), and pray for your situation.

  • Dee Andrews

    Keith –

    I know just a bit about who you are and where you’ve been in the past, but had not kept up with you in quite a while. But, this morning (Tues. Feb. 16) when I read your comment on Greg’s blog, I had to come over to “visit” you.

    I’ve read back about 2 1/2 months here so see just a glimpse of your life now (although I do not know where Macedonia is or what exactly you are doing now, i.e., saw you might be going part time at the music store or how you lost your ministry) and can see how and why you could be (are) in such pain and with a sense of despair and loss.

    I am a mighty “prayer” in all things and for all I know who hurt because I have been there so MANY times in my life. One prayer (thousands, I suppose) took more than 20 years to work out (great encouragement there, right?!), but in the end did. (I was in a horrible marriage at a young age, which lasted 24 years, messed up my 3 kids big time, etc.)

    But, my life now is happier and more complete than it has ever been in that I found the true love of my life as my marriage was unraveling and I’ve got totally awesome, deeply spiritual adult kids!! One is having major spiritual problems right now, himself, but I pray daily for him, as I did his younger brother several years ago when “he” was the prodigal son. God returned him to me, more loving and faithful in the Lord than ever. I had a long theological discussion with him just yesterday afternoon after his work.

    You are now (already) being prayed for and with by me. And will be each time I bring you to mind (which will be done deliberately). Not that I can magically lift you out of your mental and emotional morass, but God can & I can ask Him to hold you tightly to Him even in your darkest hours when you cannot see Him. And He will not forsake you.

    Many blessings to you & your family today! And, your little grandson will be fine. My granddaughter Zoe had that and was hospitalized at 3 months and while it was a bad time, she recovered and is fine and strong now at 7 yrs. old.

    Dee

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