Pain. We avoid it at all costs. Julius Caesar said, “It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” The harsh reality is unsettling. All of us will experience pain at some point in our lives. It comes in many forms…physical and emotional. While I write this blog, I’m experiencing debilitating physical pain because of degenerating cervical disks in my neck. Literally, I have a pain in my neck, not to be confused with being a pain in the neck. I’ll reserve that explanation for another blog.
Pain carries some common characteristics beyond the obvious. When you’re facing it, it changes your focus. It demands your full attention. You have increased difficulty doing other things. It limits your everyday activities. It also affects your relationships. Unfortunately, that’s where I’m living right now. It’s all I can do to concentrate long enough to write.
Though most of us would rather avoid it, pain does serve a purpose or two. C. S. Lewis calls pain, “God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It can slow us down. It can draw us to God or drive us from Him. It can also warn us. Cars have lights on the dashboard letting the driver know when the car needs something. However, people don’t come with warning lights. Next time you sense pain, pay attention. It could be God letting you know you need something. It could also be God building into your character. Romans 5:3-4 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,