“He jests at scars who never felt a wound.” ~Romeo and Juliet
Pain is a gift – the ability to experience it is for good. The ability to feel sensation – the luxury of silk, a soft cheek, the nubby kernels of popcorn, the inviting heat of a glow ember.
A numb foot is like a foreign appendage. We feel no connection to it. If we cut ourselves off from pain in a certain area, that area becomes like the dead appendage. It is cut off from us and we are incomplete.
Spiritually and emotionally, many of us may be footless, earless, with noses missing. God’s desire is for us to integrate the pained part so we are complete.
Pain means the blood flow is there. If there is no blood flow, there’s no pain. The tissue dies and that part must be amputated. We can actually rejoice in pain, knowing the blood of Jesus is showing us the part that is hurting. It’s still alive! There is hope for healing and restoration.
Dr. Paul Brand, leading hand surgeon and leprosy specialist, commented, “In the U.S., I found a society that seeks to avoid pain at all costs. They are ill-equipped to handle suffering and are far more traumatized by it. Many suffer from pain – more suffer from lack of it.” I was interested and intrigued by Brand’s assessment. When we lack pain by not acknowledging and embracing the truth, we are heading for death.
Pain compels action. No matter how much we avoid the dentist, enough pain will get us there.
Pain speaks. Physical pain says to other cells in the body, “Attend to me. I need help.” Spiritual pain speaks the same message to the body of Christ. “Please see me. Please help me.”
Pain protects. It keeps us from further injury. We guard the painful area or the injured part. We don’t jump up and down on a sprained ankle. We wrap it securely and carefully put weight on it as it heals.
As we heal form a “soul” injury or an emotional trauma, we allow the Holy Spirit to encase the wound and God’s Word to build up the weakened place.
Pain is to be embraced. It calls us to maturity. It defines clearly our perspective, “But for the joy that awaited Him, Jesus suffered the cross, disregarding the shame.” Hebrews 12:2
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