The thing about pain is that it is hard to hold on to. You just can’t get a good grasp on it.
It reminds me of trying to carry a load of “whites” to the washing machine without the use of a basket. Does anyone else know what I mean? Your laundry baskets are either far away or full of other clothes, and so you think, “I’ll just carry this gigantic load of socks and underwear and various other small, sort of slippery articles of clothing to the washing machine. It shall only take a mere moment of my time.”
So you valiantly pick up your load and try to wrap it around itself in an attempt to turn it into a self-contained bundle. But as soon as you have one stray end under control, another sock falls. When you bend to retrieve that sock, three more items fall. All of this results in a frustrated-but still slightly optimistic- shuffle to the washing machine, followed by a “walk of shame” to snatch up the trail of clothing you left behind you.
Pain is a difficult load to carry. Just when you think that you’ve got it all under control, something else falls. You’re falling apart. Whether your pain stems from grief, rejection, failure, or disappointment- it tugs at your soul and makes you feel lost. It could easily steal your identity. Everything negative that happens to you feels personal, because your eyes have been coloured with pain.
Pain makes it difficult to believe that God chose to create you.
It aches to think about how, at the beginning of time, he looked into the future and felt that you were necessary.
He smiled as he wrote your name down in his book. He so anticipated the forming of your body.
He created Adam first. Summoned the dust. Released his very own breath into Adam’s body. It was a glorious moment.
But his creation of you was just as glorious. He breathed you to life just like he did to Adam. He filled you with himself- placed eternity in your heart. He felt that you were necessary.
“Welcome.” He whispered it to you before anyone else did. Before anyone else even knew that you existed, he cradled you. It was you and him at the very beginning of your existence. It is still that way today. It will be that way at the end of time as we know it.
He saw the pain that would come to you. He knew, and he ached so badly. He saw the enemy that you would fight, the darkness that you would carry in your heart, the voices that would echo in your head. And he said, “That woman cannot fight alone. She needs a Champion. A Rock. A Redeemer.”
So he sent one.
God knew that you were going to hurt, and he provided a healer for you.
If pain is a slippery load of laundry, then God is the laundry basket. (That sounds less than poetic.) I just mean that he can handle your pain. Your loose ends aren’t too much for him. You will be scarred, wiser, and holier for having felt pain and allowing God to tuck in your loose ends and wrap you up in himself. He will carry you through, and you will arrive safely.
Pain has purpose.
“…he disciplines us for our own good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)