Pain, Part III: The Enricher of Life
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."1
There's something else invaluable about pain. It can make you more sensitive, more compassionate, more understanding, and more creative.
Beethoven, for instance, composed one of his greatest oratorios after he became deaf. John Milton wrote one of his greatest poems after he became blind. Walter Scott wrote "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" after he was kicked by a horse and confined to his house for many days.
Those who have given the world the most are often those who have suffered the most. This is because those who have suffered the most tend to understand life and people the most.
One of my favorite stories is told about Renoir, the famous French painter. Apparently, when he was older, he suffered greatly from arthritis, but he kept painting anyhow. On one occasion his friend, Matisse, said to him, "Renoir, why do you keep painting when you are in so much pain?"
Renoir simply replied, "The pain passes, but the beauty remains."
When it comes to your pain, if you invest it wisely by using it to help yourself grow and reach out to nurture other hurting people, your pain, too, will pass, but the beauty of what you have done will remain forever.
Remember, it's one thing to hurt. It's another thing to allow your pain to hurt you. Accept your hurt as an opportunity to heal, to grow, and to become a more understanding, sensitive, compassionate, real, and creative person. It has been costly. Don't waste it. Invest it wisely in your own growth and in the enrichment of other people's lives as well.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when pain comes into my life please help me to hear what you are 'saying to me' and what you want me to learn through it. Help me to not waste it but invest it wisely in my own growth and therein become a more understanding, sensitive, compassionate, real and creative person. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT).
2. Adapted from How to Mend a Broken Heart, by Dick Innes. Available from www.actscom.com/store/