Pain with a Purpose

Pain and suffering are part of our lives, whether it’s physical pain that leads to loss of quality of life – the pain of grief, or emotional and mental pain. Many of you reading these words are experiencing some sort of pain or affliction – or you know someone who is.

Significant knee pain woke me in the middle of the night. X-rays revealed a medial collateral ligament injury. How in the world do you sprain a knee in your sleep? I felt panicked about how I could care for my husband, Steve, who was scheduled the following week for his second knee replacement surgery within the year.

To say I lack nursing skills is a major understatement, and I was already dreading his recovery worse than a root canal. This new injury caused me to feel overwhelmed, weak and all alone. I found comfort in crying out to the God of all comfort, who was close to me.

Thanks to God and a dose of steroids, I recovered in time to step into my caregiving role. But I was surprised by my feelings of gratitude for my experience with pain. It gave me sympathy and patience toward Steve, whose pain I’m sure was much greater than what I had suffered. My suffering allowed me to be a better caregiver for him!
 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)

We should steer away from our natural response of avoiding pain, getting rid of it, or numbing it and realize that God comforts us in our affliction and uses our experiences to provide comfort for others. How can you act today to comfort those who need comfort?

By Gloria Stucky

Gloria and her husband, Steve, are longtime members of Immanuel. She has a passion for connection with women through writing and teaching Bible studies to inspire and encourage them in their personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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