by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

The Difference God Makes in Pain
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
Psalm 116; 1 Peter 4:11b

Pain quite readily invades both body and soul with little or no resistance. The pain of physical illness, the pain of emotional trauma, the pain of being misunderstood and rejected, the pain of anguish, distress and grief come in without warning. A bitter spirit develops harboring the feelings of mistrust and rejection, not realizing what the pain is doing. We stumble on when what is needed most is to acknowledge the pain, ask for God's love, be requited in our service for Him, and rely on Him and what He wills for our lives.

That's a big order. Pain is silent and relentless, and refuses to be ignored. It can produce profound depths of anguish until one either submits and learns developing maturity and character or resists and becomes swamped with self-pity, smothered by self-will. Sometimes pain is even hard to distinguish it has become so ingrained within our daily lives.

Pain is all around us, from birth to death. However, throughout the Bible, it is written God uses the strong willed individual only after He allows him/her to be deeply hurt. It could be like the pain of the guilt of adultery and murder of David (2 Samuel 11:1-27); the pain of the misunderstood and deserted Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37 and 38); the pain of anguish and torment of Job; the thorn in the flesh of Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10); the pain of jealousy and abandonment of young Joseph (Genesis 37). The ultimate example is the pain and anguish of Christ giving His all, taking the suffering of pain of all those things upon Himself forever for our sake (Luke 24:44-47; John 1:29).

Mistakes are made in dealing with circumstances of such pain. We become overwhelmed with the guilt of trying to cope on our own and the failure that accompanies it. Many years ago I read a poem written by Martha Snell Nicholson, "Guests". It explains what is meant here:

Pain knocked upon my door and said that she h ...

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