Pain. Just hearing the word makes our insides recoil. We do everything to escape pain, and we surround ourselves with every possible comfort. No one enjoys pain and suffering…we were never created for it. We were created to live in a perfect world, free of pain, disappointments, and tears. After the fall, sin entered our world and, along with it, came pain in many different shapes and sizes. We all face an extent of pain and loss some time in our lives. Some things are bigger than others, but pain is still pain. And it’s hard. There’s no getting around that fact!
One of the most damaging effects of pain is that it threatens to suck the life out of us and to steal the purpose in our lives. Lies from the enemy begin flooding our minds. Hope, joy, peace, and purpose are words we only wish for. But, I am here to tell you…there is HOPE! You can find purpose in the midst of your pain. I am going to share several steps you can take towards finding healing. Before we look at these steps though, we need to first examine ourselves to see if we’ve been REAL with our pain or whether we’ve tried to bury it.
This past weekend, our family spent several days in the Florida prisons, and we again saw men and women who have resorted to many other things to deal with their pain. Self-inflicted mutilation, homosexuality, drugs, etc. became a way of life for them because they don’t know how to deal with the intense pain. When they inflict physical pain, they are trying to numb themselves, covering up their deeper pain.
Some of us bury ourselves in our jobs or even in ministry as we suppress our personal feelings. Or maybe we find ourselves struggling because we’ve tried to create a utopia, but it has eluded us. Because of our pain, we try to create a perfect life where we are surrounded only by things that make us happy. Negative circumstances and people are neatly tucked away because we are trying to shield ourselves from any more pain or discomfort. But, it will catch up with you. You will never be able to protect yourself, because this life is filled with pain and disappointments. It’s not about covering up our pain or even protecting ourselves from it. It’s about being REAL! And guess what….being real hurts! I know. But it doesn’t need to end there…there is HOPE!
Tuesday was our son’s twenty-first birthday. His fourth birthday in heaven. My heart aches today as I still miss his hugs…his laughter…his teasing. I miss all that our life could be, if he was still here with us. It still hurts. But, we are choosing to embrace gratefulness rather than being filled with “what ifs.”
As our family has struggled with finding purpose in the different losses we’ve experienced, there are several steps that have helped us.
The first step that has helped us to find purpose in our pain has been: Realizing where pain comes from. It comes from living in a fallen world. It makes no sense to get angry at God, because it’s not His fault evil is in our world in the first place.
Recognize and break the lies of the enemy. I wonder how many of you have discovered that the enemy of your soul knows just when you’re the most vulnerable. He loves to use these opportunities to speak lies to you, ensnaring you in his death grip. This is nothing, however, that the blood of Jesus Christ can’t take care of. Please take the time to break the lies you’ve believed.
Ask God to give you “rhemas” (specific truths from Him) and “songs in the night.” God has faithfully given our family many specific truths that directly met us at our point of need. Lately our daughter has been struggling with health and skin issues that have made her feel miserable during the night. As she’s been faithfully turning her heart towards her Heavenly Father, He’s given her a song during the night, and it has, in return, been able to bless others as she’s shared it in our services.
The fourth way to find purpose in pain is: Change your “Why, God?” questions to “What, God?” questions. What God, is it that You want to accomplish through this situation? What, God, are You wanting to do in my heart during this painful event? God, what is the purpose for this pain in my life? What do You want to do in my life so I can minister to others? It’s truly amazing how God gives us the answers to these questions!
As we apply these steps in our lives, we’ve been able to see the purpose for our pain. God has given us little glimpses of what His plan includes. As we “walk out” this purpose, we have a greater peace, joy, and fulfillment than we ever thought possible.
We pray this will help and enable you to walk as children of purpose!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)