Trusting God with Our Pain
It does not matter who we are or what we have done. The reality is that pain of some sort will always be a part of our lives. We are human; we will hurt and we will cry. Even in the midst of ‘good’ times in our lives, there will be pain. The danger of pain comes not from the pain itself but from not knowing how to respond when pain enters our lives.
We Have a Choice
Although we may not be able to choose whether or not pain enters our lives, we can certainly choose how to respond when it does. Some individuals prefer to ignore it, to simply bury the pain and minimize its impact on their life. Others may choose to blame God for it. Still, others prefer to become angry, striking out at any and everyone. Very few individuals choose instead to trust God with helping them move through the pain but it is this choice that offers the most help with pain.
Pain can separate us from those who love us. We can pull away from others, choosing to stay in isolation and hide away from others to wallow in our pain. On the other hand, pain can unite us with others in our lives. We may be placed into a situation where we are forced to rely on those around us to keep from drowning. In those moments, we are reminded that we are not left alone to face the pain. Of course, pain can also solidify our relationship with God. We can cry out to Him, lean on Him, even yell at Him, and still be offered the respite of His grace and love.
Why Should We Trust God?
One of the biggest blessings of knowing and believing in God is that we can recognize He understands what pain feels like, both as a mortal and as the divine.
- God the Divine
If we study God’s original design for creation, we can easily see that He had no desire for pain to be a part of our lives. Neither Adam nor Eve faced any sort of pain until they made the choice to turn from God and accept Satan’s offer of knowledge. God granted us the gift of free will with the knowledge that His children would hurt themselves, and Him, in the process. As the divine creator, He experienced the first element of pain when His children turned from Him.
- God the Mortal
As Jesus, God was able to walk the Earth as a mortal man. During this time, He lived as any man does; faced with the same joys and burdens many of us are faced with. He experienced the pain of betrayal from one of His closest friends. He fought the pain of temptation from Satan. He felt the enormous physical pain as He hung on a cross.
We can trust God with the pain in our lives because He understands it. He has felt it and had to move through it. He allowed the pain to shape who He is and how we see and relate to Him.
Pain Can Shape Us
Romans 5:3-5 reminds us to, "also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." If we understand that pain is a reality of life, and we know we have a choice in how to deal with it, we also have to see that it can shape us. The pain that Jesus experienced defined His life. In fact, He chose the path God laid out for Him, knowing it was a path of pain. Because of His love for us, he willingly placed Himself in a position of receiving the ultimate pain.
If God were faced with pain, in His divine form as well as His mortal, why would we be an exception then? Pain is a reality, but, when we trust God, we choose to allow the pain in our life define us instead of defeat us.