Pain is something that all of us have experienced, and we will experience it again.  There are many types of pain.  There is physical pain, emotional pain, and spiritual pain.  The pain we experience can rule our lives, or it can even define who we are if we let it.  The choice is up to us.  You see, I see pain not as something that happens to us, but rather something that happens for us.  I think we can all agree that life is about learning lessons and growing.  It is about us learning to be the best person we can possibly be.  We were not meant to stand still.  We were meant to grow and to move forward.  The pain we will experience in this life is one of the many things that we experience that helps us grow.  We have all been in so much pain at times that all we want it to do is stop.  We pray that the pain will go away, and when it does our faith is renewed, and we believe that God is wonderful and that He is always there for us.  When we pray and the pain does not go away, it is easy for us to believe that God is not there and we may even begin to lose faith.  

I have recently starting trying to look at pain in a different way.  I am trying my best to thank God for the pain. Believe me, I have failed many times.  I am an avid runner, and it is very important to me that I get to run.  I am a bit of a perfectionist too.  Actually, that is an understatement. I am an absolute perfectionist.  So, if I do not run the distance that I think I should, I feel like a failure.  I recently developed a pain in my left leg.  I am not sure what the cause of it is, but it is there nonetheless.  Running seems to aggravate it, and I have become frustrated.  I have tried everything.  I have taken time off from running, prayed for my leg, had other people pray for my leg, and pleaded with God to take the pain away.  Nothing seems to make a significant difference.  

Then I thought of Job in the Bible.  He experienced all sorts of terrible things, but he continued to thank God and praise Him anyway.  I decided that if Job could do it so could I.  So, I started thanking God for the pain in my leg.  My prayer was very simple, “Thank you for the pain in my leg and help me learn the lesson from this pain that you want me to learn.”  I would like to say that that took care of it and that the pain is gone, but it isn’t.  However, I look at the pain in a different way now.  I know that God is trying to teach me something.  Maybe He is trying to teach me to be more patient.  Maybe He is trying to teach me to have more faith.  Maybe He is trying to teach me that we all experience pain and that it is a fact of life.  I am not completely sure what He wants me to learn, but I am willing to learn it.  

I am able to run and the pain is still there, but it is not as bad as it was.  Now when I finish running, even though it is not as far as I would like to go, I am just thankful that I was able to run.  I am learning that it is not the distance of the run, but the fact that I can do it at all.  So, maybe pain is just a sign that we are growing.  I guess they are called growing pains for a reason.  I think we would all be better off to think of the pain we experience as a lesson and a way to grow closer to God and to have more faith in Him.  In the end, isn’t that all that really matters?  

We all experience pain and suffering, but it is not who we are.  We are far greater than the pain we experience, and God is always there to comfort us and help us learn for our pain. So, the next time you are in pain, think of Job and thank God in spite of the pain.  I believe it will help and you will begin to see the beauty and the gift in the pain.  This will lead to more peace in your life, and PEACE MATTERS.