Pain is seldom a welcome part of our life and yet a guaranteed result of living. From the tiny ouches to the excruciating, you can count on it. Don’t let that discourage or frighten you however. Along with that assurance of pain comes an accompanying assurance of possibilities. Let me explain.
My 12 year old adopted daughter has injured her foot. She hyperextended the tendons on the top that extend from her toes and let me tell you, she is experiencing some pain. She and I along with my 13 year old daughter (her birth sister) are heading out of town early in the morning where plans of hikes and zip lines have fizzled into disappointment. Instead she will be hobbling around on crutches, soaking her foot in Epsom salt baths and keeping her hands and mind otherwise occupied while her foot is elevated.
Although I am so very sorry that she is hurting and although I regret that she won’t have the same opportunities to enjoy our trip, I intend to take advantage of the possibilities that pain is presenting. Take advantage of my child’s pain? What kind of parent would think such thoughts and do such a thing? Well, once again, let me explain.
You see, my daughters came to me at ages six and seven. Sometimes I grieve over the lost time and not just because of time itself, but, because I never watched them suckle, I never had to choose the right diaper rash cream or soothe them as they teethed. Instead they learned to rely on each other and to self soothe. They learned that adults didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to a child in pain and as a matter of fact, an admission of pain might put you in a vulnerable (and therefore dangerous) position.
So, for the next week our so, my daughter is going to be much more dependent on me. She will need my assistance, my guidance, my tender loving care. And yes, I am going to take full advantage of the painful possibilities. While she is being still and quieter than usual, I will show her how a mother chooses to nurture and reinforce what I’ve been teaching her half of her life now. Pain is about more than vulnerabilities, it is also about possibilities.
Pain provides possibilities to build a trusting relationship, to bond more deeply as you depend on another – a possibility to experience the miracle of healing.
Chances are most of you reading this are experiencing some sort of pain right this moment. You may have an injury yourself. You may be suffering with an ongoing illness. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one. You may be in pain for countless reasons and feeling extremely vulnerable.
If that is the case let me assure you of this truth. You have a heavenly father who is totally aware of your pain and your broken dreams and your grieving heart. Guess what else? He intends to take full advantage of the painful possibilities. He wants to draw you into a more intimate relationship and comfort you into a trusting without reservation. Don’t hesitate to turn your face His direction. He has already turned His face toward yours.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” CS Lewis _The Problem With Pain_