You're not going to make it through this Life, blessed or not, without feeling some sort of pain, whether it's real or imagined, physical or spiritual ( emotional? )! Death, for instance, and I'm speaking of biological death, means separation, and separation means pain, to some extent, at least. If you've ever been close to someone who's biological body ceased to function, you know what I mean. In that case, life really sucks sometimes!
Of course, biological death is not the only kind of separation that brings pain, we also feel it when we are deprived of a companionship that we are used to, for whatever reason. It may be because of divorce, or because of a move, but whatever the reason, an ache develops inside of you, and will continue to do so until that hole, or vacancy is filled. Then too, depending on what you choose to fill that vacancy with, the cycle may continue!
'No Pain, No Gain!
'Pain is a good thing', I always say, 'it makes you feel alive'! If you're feeling no pain, you should probably check your heart to make sure it's still beating! Pain has a purpose, and that is to let us know that something needs our attention; this applies both to our physicality and to our spirituality, or emotional state. Pain lets us know that something is not quite right, and a change in direction might need to be considered!
No one that I know actually likes pain, I know I'm not particularly fond of it, but everyone I know experiences it, and some even seem to thrive on it!
Pain is a good thing, yes, and yes, it's unavoidable, but it's usually not a very pleasant experience! ( Sometimes, though....) But seriously, whether it's physical or emotional, whether something is 'out of sorts' with your biological body, or your spiritual psyche, it hurts, it really hurts! And when it hurts, there's really only one thing you can do to ease your pain; you've got to soothe it somehow. ( Marvin Gaye just popped into my mind, for some reason.....) When we experience physical pain, we have several choices; we can cease whatever activity that's causing the pain, or we can use any number of ointments or salves to ease it, and temporarily soothe, if not completely heal it.
Emotional pain, on the other hand, can be a bit harder to put your finger on! Yes, it hurts, but, for whatever reason, we often draw a blank, as to why and where exactly we are experiencing this pain! Though there is a Balm in Gilead, even we as Christians experience emotional discomfort, whether it be because of bad decisions in our own lives, or because we are somehow affected by other's bad choices. Sometimes strained ( or is that 'sprained? ) family ties cause us much pain! Sometimes it is just because of thee messes we see all around us in Our Father's World!
In actuality, we as Christians ARE that Healing Balm! We ARE the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and we have been restored to that Blessed Communion for times such as these!
Like Jesus, we can sympathize with those who feel pain, because we too have felt pain! ( most of us still do ) We can soothe someone's pain because we've had our own pain soothed! We can heal because we've been healed, and have become Agents for the healing of the world's pain!
Much of society today, even Christians, will tell you that you can't take care of someone else, if you don't take care of yourself first. This seems like sage advice, and in a sense, even seems to have a ring of truth to it, particularly biologically speaking, but really, when you think about it, ministering to someone else's need often helps to fulfill your own! On top of this, we have our Heavenly Father's promise that when we seek first His Kingdom, all these things are given us in 'spades'!
As we minister to others then, with the grace we have received from our Heavenly Father,let us always remember that, whatever this glorious experience that we call Life throws at us, everybody hurts, sometimes!
Healed & Hurting,
Charles Haddon Shank