What to do with Pain

I am a product of our society, one which is driven to find a way out of pain. I experience all sorts of pain. The pain of waiting, boredom, loss, or exhaustion. We have remedies for them all.

Find the shortest line to ease the pain of waiting.

Look at the phone to ease the pain of boredom.

Indulge in food or entertainment to ease the pain of loss.

Research sleep remedies or take energy supplements to ease the pain of exhaustion.

Relationships are a primary source of pain: the disappointing parent, spouse or child; the betrayal of a friend; the unsupportive boss; the lazy coworker. What is the solution? We move, reprimand, change jobs, get divorced.

Surely, there will be less pain somewhere else. If I just solve these problems, I can live more easily and with less pain.

One of the pains I have experienced is a lack of control. When things are going unexpectedly or undesirably, it is painful. I try to figure out how to escape or get back control. I direct my pain to unhealthy places: my temper, my words, my attitude. I love progress and forward movement. Pain slows me down. So I pop an Advil and take another route.

I have struggled with coming to grips with pain, learning that I must yield to it, as Jesus did. The only way to the other side of pain is through it. Try to go around and you’ll just run into it again. And when you get to the other side of this current pain, expect that there will be more in front of you. But, you’ll be better equipped, less reluctant, and experience more peace and joy through it.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. 

Hebrews 12 (The Message)