Pain: a feeling of injury or discomfort. Or at least that’s one definition for it. However you define it, pain is a necessary evil that every human on planet Earth experiences at some point in this life. There are different forms of pain that one can experience, be it physical, emotional, or even spiritual pain; each just as difficult as another. I struggle with being a very prideful person. God is slowly helping me overcome that, but I still fall into that mindset if I’m not careful. It’s easy to think that I’m not like everyone else so I can handle things others can’t. I like to think I am stronger than others, but everyone has their breaking point. I am absolutely against complaining of any kind. I feel it’s a waste. If you don’t like your situation in life, change it. If you don’t have the power to change it, accept it and move on. This is one of my multiple mottoes in life. I have an overwhelming amount of joy in life, which is especially good on the hardest days.

Pain is no stranger to me. I deal with physical pain on a daily basis, whether it’s in the middle of a transfer, in the middle of the night, or starting when I wake and lingering throughout the day. Sometimes it’s position related, sometimes it’s not. Pain medicine provides relief most of the time. If not, I just push through the pain and pray the next day will be better. I have had cortizone injections in my hips to alleviate pain and will need them again in the future. I thank God for medicine and medical interventions that have helped me have a (mostly) pain free life. I don’t ignore pain. I do everything within my power to see that it gets treated – even if doctors don’t know how to treat it or what’s causing it and probably think I’m crazy. I feel I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but when the pain gets unbearable I make a fuss to get the help I so desperately need. As I stated above, we all have our breaking points. The over-used Christian saying goes “God will never give you more than you can handle,” and while that sentiment is nice, it’s just not true. We can look to cross of Calvalry, where Christ was beaten beyond recognition, had His skin literally ripped off His bones, had sharp thorns pierce His scalp, and His side stabbed, and we can clearly see that that statement is false. Put aside the physical pain Jesus experienced and try to imagine the emotional pain He suffered as well. People were mocking Him, spitting on Him, gambling over His clothes, made a piercing “crown” and placed a sign above His head proclaiming Him to be the “King of the Jews”; as if to say look at your silly King now. He suffered physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, in ways even I cannot fathom. When spit and blood ran from His mouth as He cried in pain and confusion “my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” we see something in Christ that hasn’t been shown before in His earthly life: unimaginable pain. So much pain that I’m quite certain it was with overwhelming relief that the words “it is finished” finally escaped His lips and He drew His last breath as a mortal man. It is quite obvious that Christ was given much more than any human can handle, but He did it willingly out of love for a destructive human race destined for Hell without Him. He carried his cross up to the hill and had nails forced through His hands and feet because He loved His creation more than life itself and longed to know us. Love empowers people in a way that no other force of nature can. It is what gives us a direct line to the supernatural realm, propelling us to push the limits in all aspects of life. It also makes us come to terms with our own mortality, which makes us chose to either reject the mercy of God or hold on to Him with every ounce of strength we have within. Because when it hurts, He feels it too. When I literally can’t handle it anymore, He gives me rest. When doctors can’t fix it, He whispers answers into their ears upon hearing my prayers.

Pain is an unfortunate byproduct of sin that affects every human on this planet in some way. God did not create pain, but in His goodness, He provided a way for us to have intimacy with Him and harness His strength through our pain. It is not fair, and He understands that better than anyone. But through pain, we become more like Him. Life is hard, but God is good, and the pain suffered in this life is so minuscule in comparison to the prize that awaits fighters in the next life. Stop ignoring or masking your pain. It is there, and acknowledging it certainly doesn’t make you weak. But rather than sulking in it, draw closer to God and allow Him to make something beautiful out of it. I can promise that life is so much better when we chose to walk it with God instead of going it alone.

Pain is beautiful when viewing it through the eyes of love.

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