Any time somebody comes near me with a needle, I tell them that I am allergic to pain and beg for mercy. How do I have tattoos, you ask? To be quite honest, I was seconds away from passing out during my first one. Pain is not my thing.
However, pain is not always bad. Yes, it always hurts. But think about it: if there is something wrong with you, and there is no pain to tell you, how will you ever know to seek help? I had an appendectomy two summers ago because it was about to rupture. Had I not experienced that excruciating pain, my appendix may have busted open and poisoned me to death.
Hurting may suck at the time, but it always lets us know that there is a problem. Leprosy is a disease often mentioned in the Bible. I always pictured it as being the people version of mange, or some sort of gross rash. In reality, leprosy is when your nerve endings stop working and you essentially lose the ability to feel pain.
While that may seem appealing, think of the consequences. You will not feel it when you get cut. You could get a deadly infection for lose a ton of blood before you even notice the cut. You could burn your skin and you wouldn’t even realize it until you smell burning flesh. Before you known it, your body is all mangled simply because you were never able to identify the problems that were plaguing you.
Pain is never fun when you are experiencing it. However, it has a purpose. God allows us to feel pain to help us identify problems that we need to deal with. He lets us hurt to give us a chance to address the issues that may cause more permanent damage if we choose to ignore them. God created pain to keep us safe.
My prayer is this: God, thank You for pain. If it will help me eliminate the circumstances that keep me from getting closer to you, please give me some more. If it will help me fight temptation, bring the pain. If it will help me to avoid sin, hurt me. If it will keep me motivated to be an active agent of Your love and justice, do what You’ve got to do. Pain is temporary, Lord. But Your love is everlasting.