Probably the worst physical pain I have ever experienced was on a cold January night in 2014 during the opening session of the yearly Kalahari retreat. I was part of the opening act and, during it, I planned on, essentially, high jumping on a stage that was several feet off the ground. Now, I played sports in high school so I thought I was, at least, slightly athletic.
In case you were wondering, no, I didn’t practice at all to see if it was even possible.
Safe to say, I slipped on my jump and skinned my shin. After the opening, I walked out to the hallway and saw blood running down my shin. Upon getting a paper towel from the bathroom and looking closer to dab it up, I saw that my shin was literally flayed open.
I could see muscle and everything.
After the shock wore off (it was a solid 30 seconds of me staring at the gaping hole in my shin), my adrenaline wore off and the pain came in a huge and brutal wave.
When we talk about pain, I feel like everyone can relate. Either we can talk about a time where we were hurt physically, but I feel like it hurts us so much more when the pain is emotional.
How do you deal with emotional pain? How do you process through it? What role does God play in this healing process? Are you even healing from your pain?
One of the greatest things I have learned in my faith was that pain has a purpose. In our reading today in Romans, Paul is writing about a tough situation he is currently in. He is writing a letter to the church in Rome from prison. He knew his time was coming to a close and he was soon to be executed for his role in advancing the gospel.
If Paul can pen his encouraging words in Romans 5:3-4, how do any of our pains (physical or emotional) even compare?
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Do you go so far as to glory in your sufferings? Are you able to zoom out of our scenario and see the long game of pain? Can you see the upcoming perseverance, character and, ultimately, hope that will come as a result of properly working through your pain?
What pain are you currently experiencing? What pain is a part of your past that you haven’t healed from?
What steps are you going to take in order to see your pain from a new perspective?
What potential benefits do you see from viewing your pain from a different lens?
What promises of hope does Jesus give us for the pain we experience throughout our life?