We live in a fallen world and pain is a part of life. We come into this world because of labor pains, crying, and feeling the separation from a warm safe place into uncertainty. God allows pain in our lives for various reasons. Mark Batterson said sometimes the greatest joy follows the pain as mothers of newborns can attest. Noting gets our attention like pain.

We realize we have absolutely no control and the only one who does is the Lord as Paull talks about in 1 Cor.1:9, Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Pain saved my life in early 2011 when I woke up with excruciating abdominal pain that resulted in a trip to Urgent Care and the ER. I was diagnosed with pancreatitis which led to my gallbladder being removed, but what followed was the biggest shock of my life. The pathology report revealed a cancerous tumor in my gallbladder. That day began a journey of more surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and years of follow-up CTs and bloodwork to make sure it hadn’t come back.

If I hadn’t had that painful pancreatitis, the gallbladder cancer wouldn’t have been found early enough to treat, as is often the case. God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good of conforming us to be more like Jesus. (1 Cor. 1:3-4) The other good was that God began bringing people across my path on similar journeys and they became good friends. Greater empathy for others can be a result of pain and trials.

When pain brings us to the end of ourselves, God reveals himself and his power and love for us in a new way. It might not be physical pain, it might be emotional, the pain of loss, or mental pain. Whatever the burden or the pain, God desires to deliver us and give us His peace and hope. He wants to walk with us and even carry us on the journey.

The One who created us, the One who wept in the garden, the One who suffered death on the cross, and the One who conquered death, understands our pain and can use it to show us where we need to grow and reveal Himself to us in new ways.

Deb Hill

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