by Paul Casey

Pain is a Gift to Embrace?

“Expect pain to be a regular part of life….. When we resort to protesting and denying pain, we actually are getting into an argument with God…When we give up protesting about pain/problems, we begin letting go of thtings that we can’t keep anyway. We learn what choices, paths, lessons, and opportunities are ours, and we enter the place of acceptance….That acceptance helps us live in God’s reality, which in turn allows us to adapt and change to the way things really are. It allows us to relax and become flexible, so that God can more easily direct us through our problems….Problems are a gift–they help us identify with the sufferings of God.” (God Will Make a Way by Cloud/Townsend)

Lately, my world has been, to a large part, defined by pain–not mine, but my wife’s. To see someone you love suffer so much and not be able to really do anything to relieve it, is so frustrating.  This quote reminds me that pain is a normal part of this life and should be expected. But then it seems to go too far by suggesting we should EMBRACE it! 

The thought of embracing pain is a complete 180 from what we want to do with it: fight it at all costs and in every way we can.  God seems to not want us to do that, though. It’s as if He wants us to roll with it because He’s got it all under His supervision.  I mean, I know at the “counselor level” that acceptance is where we need to get to on the other side of the grief/recovery/emotion cycle. It just seems so hard to get there.

Problems are a gift? That takes a whole mental re-work. It’s just like Jesus to flip my fleshly response to a heavenly perspective, even when life is at its worst. I simply can’t do it on my own strength. Any time I can do it, it’s solely because the Holy Spirit empowers me to think differently. And when I do, I grow, and I take other people who are watching with me–being a light when everyone expects darkness.

When we’re weakest, that’s when we’re strongest, right? Why would I want to reject God’s way to strength?


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