Pain can have a purpose. Sometimes it is due to the bad decisions of other people. At times, it is a result of our own bad decisions. Death, destruction, divorce, disease, and despair all have one thing in common. They often drive us to the end of ourselves. Abraham Lincoln once said, "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go."
Life can be overwhelming and when it is, we often realize just how powerless we really are. I am not saying the divine, or the cosmos or karma cause pain to teach us this. I am saying that a natural result of pain is the knowledge that life is larger than what we can explain. Pain can drive us deep into ourselves and deep into the divine. We can emerge stronger and more resilient. Pain is often a prelude to provision.
I remember when I found out my brother had died. We had been estranged for most all our adult lives. The next day, I sat in the office of a co-worker and recounted things that had happened in our family. I cried more that day than I had ever cried over my family. She cried with me and told me how strong I was. I didn't feel strong. I felt damned. My whole life my family had dictated how I could or could not interact with them. Always I felt like I had no way to go that seemed right. No way that resulted in my peace, in freedom or with my feeling love from them. In that time of pain, I could not see how God was making a provision for my healing. But He was.
If you are feeling pain today, I encourage you to sit with it. To feel it, don't try to stuff it away. Allow it to penetrate your heart and soul. In doing so, you may feel worse before you feel better. Today or tomorrow may not be the day that the pain starts to subside. But the day will come when you feel it a little less. Pain pushes us to know ourselves better, to know the divine better, to pause and ponder what truly matters. Pain can propel us down a different path than the one we have been on.
Be encouraged today that while we don't understand why we hurt, we all face pain of some kind. That means we are not alone, it is not unique to you or me. It is not unique to Jesus either. He felt pain, more than I can comprehend. But in his pain, he held onto the fact that his purpose was our freedom. I don't know what the purpose is to the pain in my life or in yours. I do know that without the pain that has been in my life, I wouldn't know how much I needed the Healer.