Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "One Day"1 (Lyrics)
"It is hard to forget pain, but it is even harder to remember sweetness. There is no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace." (Chuck Palahniuk)
"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences but shouts to us in our pain. Pain is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." (C.S. Lewis)
My husband had a 200-pound object dropped on his foot recently. The pain was so wrenching that he felt nauseated and wanted something to wrap around his big toe, which demanded a significant amount of attention.
I lost a toenail years ago due to someone dropping a large can of beans on it. I wouldn't remember such a small incident except that it left a scar to prove its occurrence.
Pain documents a happening. Because of its severity, we remember events: the pain of childbirth, of losing a loved one, of making a mistake. Pain is our teacher. It is a gift from the world to respect situations lest they result in pain.
Without pain in our lives, we can drift off to sleep, spiritually speaking, with no particular reason to pay attention to God. Physical, mental, or spiritual anguish that no one intentionally seeks can be God's gift to us, for affliction and suffering can often drive us to God, asking, "Why?"
But the greatest gift of pain was received when Christ died on the cross for our sins. He knew that the pain would be so great that He prayed to His Father asking Him to remove this cup that He had been sent to the world for. The thought of being separated from the Father for our sins caused Jesus to sweat drops of blood in painful anguish.
Philippians 2:5-8 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! (NIV)
For us, the ultimate pain is to die to our old self and accept the gift of Christ's pain for our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)
It is the pain of the world that causes us to seek the comfort of Jesus, for the opposite of pain is peace. That is the reason that He was sent to us, the world, for He is our peace on earth.
Prayer: Father, may we take sweet refuge in You to lessen our pain till this world passes away. You give us a peace that surpasses all the pain that this world offers. Shall we ask for more pain that we may experience more peace? Make us only aware of Your great peace, shaken down, pressed tightly, overflowing. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.