The Value of Pain

The Value of Pain

You can’t bring a cup of cold water to someone if you’ve never thirsted
You can’t heal a heart if your heart’s never been broken
You can’t forgive a sin that you’ve never done
Or you never thought you could do
Put that bandage away it’s too small to cover the wound
– from “Cup of Cold Water” by John Fischer

When it comes to standing in someone else’s shoes and feeling what others feel, the most frequently neglected area in which we do this is in the area of pain.

We live in a society obsessed with pain relief. Doctors, druggists, chiropractors, psychiatrists and psychologists are all banded together in this fight against the common enemy: pain – both physical and mental. Rarely do you hear that pain might be a good thing, but it can be. It may not be good in and of itself, but it can be good in what it accomplishes. What can pain accomplish?

Pain opens us up to our real need.

Pain helps us identify with others.

Pain reminds us of our limitations.

Pain can open up your heart, if you let it.

Pain grounds us in our humanity.

Pain is a big part of love; you can’t live or love without it.

All those country songs about love and heartbreak may not be so trite after all. If love doesn’t hurt, then it’s not very deep. Ask Jesus about the pain of love, and He could point to a cry still rattling around the universe, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Mark 15:34)

We spend billions of dollars trying to get ourselves pain-free, when pain is perhaps one of the most important ways we can touch another human being. It’s one thing to share the same joy – high five at a football game over a touchdown, or share a kiss on New Year’s Eve – it’s another, deeper thing to share the same pain.

Some people are convinced that they are alone in their pain – that no one else has experienced the pain they feel – until someone comes along who has, and suddenly, they are not alone any longer. It doesn’t make the pain any more bearable, but it does make a relationship possible.

I pray that my heart never heals from these wounds. If you understand this statement, then you understand the value of pain.

by John Fischer
Used by Permission

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The Heroism of Job

Devotional on Job.  Heroism of Job

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.” Job 1:21 (Msg)

Let’s just say Job is not the most popular name on the baby name sites. We like to name our children after the typical heroes, names that can bless them with a future of power and strength. Job’s name is synonymous with suffering and loss. And yet, Job is someone we can hold up as an example of strength, patience, grace, love, friendship with God and the ultimate comeback.

Several years ago, I attended a weekend retreat in the mountains in Taipei. We were organized in groups and had to choose a person from the Bible to represent our table. Our table chose Job. “What?”  I thought, but trusted that God would show up in this seemingly strange choice. The light came on for me when we created a one-sentence mantra to describe our hero. I still remember it:  “Job, a humble, but wealthy man who praised God, in spite of his circumstances.”

Job holds out a life story that, in the end, is noteworthy. He walked through the pain and came out admirable.

Through seasons of suffering and loss, when things seem most dark, do I remember to praise my God, in spite of my circumstances? Job continues to remind me that everything I have is a gift.

Reflect: What are you thankful for today?

by Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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