I really don’t like pain. Sometimes my wife gives me a hard time about it. Her “pain threshold” must be higher than mine. I steer clear of things that cause pain. Doctors and shots come to mind. I will likely die early of an infected paper cut. Despite trying my best to be safe, I usually end up with some type of injury. Accidents are a part of life. So is pain. But much (most?) pain is not physical. We are often plagued by many emotional pains over the course of our lives. These pains aren’t soothed by Band-Aids and mommy’s kisses. It takes a real doctor.
Pain, both physical and emotional, often brings people to decision points. In the gospels we see that Peter denied Jesus three times. I’m sure there must have been a lot of pain associated with the guilt and shame he felt after he let his Master down. Yet Jesus used that pain to bring about a huge change in Peter’s life. Peter’s books deal with troubles we will face, yet they are not negative at all. Look at 1 Peter 4:12, 13:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed”
That’s what we, as humans, often do- we keep being surprised that there is pain in the world. We just need to recognize that pain is part of the package and smile and keep going! Also, the very first subject in 1 Peter is…… Hope!
The real issue here is dealing with mindsets. Some people can see the light even in the darkest of situations. Others mope, groan, and worry about everything. How do you get the mopers to see the light? An article or a book might help, but I think in general it runs deeper and is a change of heart that only God can accomplish (and yes, He could use a book or article to help do that). We must always seek God’s wisdom, whether times are good or bad.
The next time you have a pain think twice before complaining. God may be about to do something wonderful in your life!