Managing pain is a pain many of us have to deal with. We can’t escape pain these days. Whether it is chronic physical pain from an illness or disease, or emotional pain from loss or suffering, we are all forced to face it and learn to manage our lives around it. There are those who are struggling with pain, not able to manage it and discovering it can devastate not only their own lives but others’ health and relationships as well.
How do some believers carry on, exhibiting joy in the midst of trials?
Consider these different approaches by believers who are more than conquerors of their pain. The greatest evidence of “pain overcomers” is the attitude of positive prayer. Pray during the night when you cannot sleep. Pray first thing in the morning. Pray when the pain is overwhelming and you cannot move. Pray when there is nothing else you can do! Pray when the hurt is so deep there are no words to be said. Praying without ceasing causes one to have such a focus on our Almighty God’s goodness, His perfect provisions, His purposes, that all else fades away. Yes, even the pain.
Consider how these friends have handled pain:
- Using scripture for praise, promises, strength.
- Singing praises and prayers through hymns and praise choruses; reading words of faith.
- Meditating or moving the body with exercise.
- Staying busy to take your mind off self and focus on others and their needs.
- “Let go of your control over the situation (you don’t really have any anyway) as an act of worship.
- Embrace God’s love as an act of release.
- Rest in the outcome, even if in this lifetime we are not allowed to understand the reason behind the sacrifice or the pain we are going through.
- You will find you need to do these not once but many times.
The reality of pain doesn’t make God less than God and it doesn’t make Him less than good. He will always deliver us through the pain.
“My grace is sufficient for you and my power is made known in your weakness ... .” II Corinthians 12:9
One friend says, “I share this because one of the continual things I struggle with is that though our current `great pain’ is horrible as we watch (our son) in excruciating pain and recovery, it does not lessen or diminish your pain, trial, issue. I have known depression – mornings where I felt like I could not get out of bed to look for a job; where I actually felt like my shoulders were being pushed down into the bed. I truly believe it takes great faith, great heroism just to get out of bed and move forward with our day. Whatever pain or trial we face is not on a sliding scale with God as to greatness.” Christ meets us right where we are in the midst of what we are going through and has the capacity and desire to take on our burden and love us through that. I really think that is why James says there are “trials of various kinds.”
Another shares, “We have an opportunity to connect with God through His Son Jesus Christ and to lay our burdens at His feet. As we have been surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses in our journey through fire so too we desire to surround each other – that is what our community, this community, is all about. Loving each other, drawing each other closer to God, and finding peace in the arms of a Savior who loves us. It crosses all ethnic, social, denominational walls that seem to separate us. It allows us to take deeper breaths which feed our veins, giving strength to the body. Either way – in times of blessing, times of great pain, Lord, blessed be Your name.”
Father, thank you for the grace to endure, so to give witness to You, that You may be glorified!