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Monday, November 3, 2014

How to Best Embrace the Gift of Pain

We often think of brokenness and neediness as bad, but the gift of pain draws us into community with God and one another.
— Mark R. McMinn, Ph.D
Nothing can dissuade us from joy if we are able to comprehend, apply and experience this truth: pain is a gift.
Pain reminds us that unbounded freedom brings consequences because of sin.
Whether it is us hurting someone/others or it’s us on the receiving end, or whether it’s just the circumstances of life as they occasionally ‘conspire’ against us, the reason we experience pain is because we lack a say over the expression of our freedom. As sinners we need to be free and we abuse our freedom, but, as we let the gift of pain counsel us, we learn that if we stop insisting on our freedom, God gives it to us in more recognisably copious amounts because of joy.
Brokenness and neediness involve pain. And the best ways of soothing pain toward the acceptance of brokenness and healing is loving community.
There is something about relationships that give and encourage that brings life.
At the present time there is much support and love both needed and given. We can only be ‘strong’ when we are underpinned – not only by our faith, but by the practical hands and feet of love, and the hope we feel when others share their stories of God’s grace and healing.
Community gets us through. Without community we have no need of vulnerability and our pain is simply hidden. God can only heal us if he’s working on us; with others around, as we engage with our anger, our confusion, our frustration, our sadness, God gives us a mirror with which to see how we are engaging with our world. We cannot be on the road to healing if it doesn’t translate into being real under the normal pressures of life.
The best way to meet pain is to embrace it. What we cannot change must, in all wisdom, be accepted. It’s foolishness to go against the flow and know it won’t work. Pain comes. It has to be met.
Pain is best seen, also, as a gift, because it opens the doorway into neediness; an acknowledged brokenness. When we accept we need people, then, and only then, will God bring into our lives the love we need in order to be healed.
We need others in our orbit in order for God’s love to be real. The Lord uses people with which to effect his love.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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