There is Purpose in Your Pain
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of pain. I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that God would sit back while we encounter painful seasons in life. It made little sense to me. I wrestled with thoughts like, "If God is good, then why do we experience pain?", "Why doesn't He just take the pain away?", "Why does He allow us to suffer?"
One night earlier this week, I woke up in a lot of pain. I remember just laying on my bed in tears because I felt helpless. In that moment, I felt a range of emotions. I felt discouraged because even after praying, I was still suffering from the pain. I felt emotionally tired of dealing with everything that was on my plate. I felt confused that God would allow me to walk through something so difficult. Truthfully, I also felt angry. I was angry that God wasn't intervening and bringing the relief that I desperately needed. I felt like He had forsaken me. I remember laying there, crying out to God, telling Him how tired I was. I told Him that I was tired of having to deal with the pain, and I just kept on crying. I remember though, as I cried, I felt a release to keep on crying. It was as if the Holy Spirit was telling me that it was okay to cry, it was okay to mourn over what I was facing in that moment. He understood that I felt pain, and He understood that it was hard for me.
In the midst of my crying, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus on the Cross. He reminded me that just like me, Jesus experienced pain. In that garden, Jesus cried out to His Father, and on the Cross, He cried out to His Father. As soon as He brought it to my attention, I thought about Matthew 27:46 (NIV), which says, "About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?")." Laying there on my bed, I began to ask the same question, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I kept repeating it over and over, until I just felt a peace. It was as if a light bulb went off in my head and I remembered that there was purpose in Jesus' pain. I remembered that without Jesus' pain, I wouldn't be who I am today. I wouldn't have personal access to my Heavenly Father. I wouldn't be free. I also understood that without Jesus' pain, I would not have access to the healing that I know I will receive (Isaiah 53:5). I realized, laying on my bed in pain, that just like there was a purpose in Jesus' pain, there is purpose in my pain. Jesus endured the Cross because He knew that there was purpose in His pain (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus said not my will but Your will, in the Garden of Gethsamane (Luke 22:42) because He knew that although it would be painful, God had a purpose in the pain that He would endure on the Cross.
After I received this revelation, I knew within myself that God would use my pain. I knew that what I am currently walking through is not only for me, but to help someone else. I knew that with the comfort that I received from God in my own pain, I would be able to comfort someone else (2 Corinthians 1:4). I also knew that walking through pain would make me stronger in my faith and more reliant upon God (James 1:2-4). I know that this pain won't last forever, so in the midst of all that I'm going through, I've been changing my mindset from, "Why did God allow this pain in my life?" to "What is this pain teaching me?" and "How is God going to use this pain for His glory?" You may be experiencing pain right now--physical pain, or even emotional pain, but can I tell you? There is purpose in the midst of it. Don't become bitter, don't admit defeat just yet, don't succumb to the pain. God can use it, and He will use it. Take it to Him. Ask Him for the strength to endure. In the midst of this season of my life, I always find encouragement from 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV), which says, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore,confirm, strengthen, and establish you." Strength is coming, restoration is coming. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
There is purpose in your pain.