Dealing with Pain
It is amazing to meet many people who have pain in their lives that hasn’t been dealt with. Pain is a common experience, but the way we deal with pain differs. Some try to “stuff” it, hoping that it will go away. Others inflict pain on others because people in pain can cause pain for others - an often it is inflicted on those closest to us. Still others deal with pain by “wallowing” in the pain - not dealing with it and making sure everyone else knows of their pain.
If we boil it all down, we arrive at the following options:
Hiding, or denial. The problem is that it will show up somewhere else.
Rationalization. In other words my situation is not as bad as someone else’s, but it’s still there.
Anger and bitterness are often the “fruit” of pain that is not dealt with in the right way.
Addictions. People often turn to something or a habit that will numb thee pain or allow them to lessen the pain, if even for a short time. However, it carries enormous risk and devastation.
None of those options look very promising, so we must ask ourselves; “What do I do with pain”? Is there a biblical response? Yes, there is! God created us with the ability and capacity to grieve and to mourn. When we short-change that process, or try to avoid it, it leads to spiritual despair and defeat. God wants to bring us through the grieving and restore us to health and wholeness. To do that, we must do the following in our pain:
Embrace it. It’s part of what God wants to do and he only wants what is best for us. He wants to give us a new vision of himself to us.
We should ask the Spirit of God to reveal the source of the pain and the origins of the wounds or issues that have brought the pain.
Allow Jesus to speak truth into that pain. What does he have to say about it. Often we begin to accept the lies of the enemy that tell us things like we are experiencing this pain because God doesn’t love us and he doesn’t care for us. He may also seek to promote the lie that God is punishing us for some reason. Though God does discipline, he is not some cosmic dictator looking to mete out punishment to those who disobey. His discipline leads to repentance and correction.
Embrace the freedom he offers to us and the destiny he has. His primary goal for us is to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. That helps us to see that he can do that, even in our pain.
The pain we feel by injustices, or pain that comes to us, is never fun. However, they are not designed to destroy us. God can redeem it for our good. As in the case of Joseph, when he endured some very painful experiences, he could still say that they were “intended for good”.
Be honest with your pain. Embrace it, knowing God will be present in the middle of your pain. Submit it to God and watch what he can do. Grieving is for a time, and necessary. But he will be present in the midst of it.