It's Ok To Ask Why
Suffering and pain are probably the most confusing aspects of life. C.S. Lewis calls this God’s megaphones, which I think is an appropriate metaphor because nothing gets and keeps our attention quite like pain and suffering. Nothing makes us think about God more than pain, leading to the one inevitable question; Why Pain and Suffering?
The problem with pain and emotional stress becomes an issue at some point for every one of us. Pain is such a mystery, and yet some kind of understanding of why God allows it is paramount if we’re ever to trust and love Him. God knows when we suffer and He cares about our physical well-being but with God spiritual well-being has to come first.
The Purpose of Pain
So God uses pain to focus our attention on our own spiritual welfare. It’s so easy to get complacent and to start living our lives exclusively for ourselves and what “we want” instead of for God and what He’s already planned for us. Sometimes pain is God’s last resort. It’s His way of grabbing us by the shoulders and turning us back towards Him. Sometimes pain is God’s way of pulling us closer to Him, helping us to learn to lean on and to trust Him in ways we never thought possible.
Pain and suffering have to be viewed in light of the PURPOSE for which we were created to be united with God in our spirits. Everything, yes EVERYTHING that happens to us is ALLOWED only because God knows it can move us closer to HIM.
There is no truer expression of our love for God than to say-
"THIS HURTS AND I WANT IT TO STOP, BUT I TRUST YOU".
And by the way, let me ask you a question…...WHO DO YOU TRUST WITH YOUR PAIN MORE THAN GOD ANYWAY?
Pain Develops Empathy and Endurance
So, we understand now that God puts our spiritual welfare ahead of our physical welfare, but why does he need to use pain? Pain has to be viewed through the lens of love; otherwise, we will never be able to make any sense of it. Pain’s main goal is always LOVE, meaning that ALL PAIN is ultimately intended to:
1) Make us more loving and compassionate towards others, and
2) Help us come to know and understand God’s love better.
We humans naturally put our own selfish desires above God and others. And so we have to train ourselves to put God and others first and to trust Him in every situation. We have to discipline ourselves to live by God’s only law, the law of love until it becomes more natural. We have to learn to want to love Him and others above everything else, which is the hardest thing to do. Because one minute we’re promising to put God and others first and the next minute we’re acting as if we’re the only person in the world.
When The Pain Won't Go Away
Pain makes us want to think of nothing but ourselves and finding a way to stop the pain. And certainly, it is our right to try and stop or reduce the pain. BUT WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE CAN’T?
How do we act when we’re stuck with the pain? We can either complain and lash out at those around us or we can choose to be friendly and loving towards those around us even though we don’t FEEL like it. We can FEEL sorry for ourselves or we can find a way to serve others IN OUR PAIN.
Ultimately, pain can teach us to put the love of others before our own desires if we’ll let it. In other words, pain can teach us to love as God does.