Pain is something I work hard to avoid. It hurts and seem only a negative. A pain in my legs after exercise means an injury. A scratchy throat is the beginning of an illness. A broken heart represents losing at love.
Even though pain is not fun, there’s positive that can come out of it. The pain in my leg is my body adjusting to a new workout that’s making me stronger. The scratchy throat is due to long phone conversation with my loving mother. And the broken heart was God’s separating me from a bad choice until the right one came along.
My survival instinct many times causes me to flee pain.
Growing up adults repeatedly shared the famous quote, “When the going get tough, the tough get going.” However, the only “get going” I wanted to do was away from the pain.
We live in a hurting world and the pain many of us face can be overwhelming.
Not long ago I saw an interview with J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. She talked about her mother’s death and the pain involved. She was extremely close to her mother. However, the pain she felt from losing her mother helped her fully capture Harry’s character. She was able grasp the pain he felt of not having a family.
Many charities were founded out of pain. Great works or art were created from pain. Scientific discoveries were motivated out of pain.
If we consistently flee pain instead of facing it, we miss out on a lot.
Facing pain – Awakens our souls to a deeper part of our being that has been touched by God. If we don’t go there, we miss God’s touch and seeing more of Him.
Fleeing pain– Closes up a wound faster but it leaves a scar on our heart that is numb. It prevents us from fully feeling love and life.
Facing pain – Initially breaks us down but after rest and healing we come back stronger, filled with wisdom.
Fleeing pain – Wears us down. When we flee, we are alone. When we are alone, there is no one around to help hold our arms up.
Facing pain – In time we become a source of healing for others. We can use our strength and pass it forward to others.
Fleeing pain - Stunts our growth and we become a burden. Insecurities develop and if we’re not careful, we pass it on to the next generation.
There are levels of pain that make it easier to face some over others. There is no formula to ease the process but there is a loving God who has experienced pain.
He was a refugee, poor. Maybe He carried the burdened of knowing thousands of babies were murdered because of his birth. He was betrayed. Single. Falsely accused. Spat upon. Beaten and treated like a thief.
Jesus lived in constant tension while here on earth. But, He didn’t flee. He was tempted to but instead of running He went to a garden, got on His knees and went face to face with God. And when He was done, He had the strength to not only face it pain that was ahead but to endure it.
He paid it forward to us. Because He faced His pain we can rest assured that one day our pain will be removed.
When we face God on our knees, He will carry our burdens and we can face anything.
How are you doing?
Are you fleeing your pain for facing it?
Maybe it’s time to go face to face with God in the midst of your pain.