We are in a small building project at our house! We (translation: Terry and the older kids) are building a treehouse! Last Wednesday, my 11 year old was outside admiring the progress on the treehouse. She was looking up at the floor of the treehouse when she stepped on a 4 inch nail that was sticking up out of a board on the “construction site.” A four inch rusty nail. It went through her sneaker at an angle. We took her to the emergency room where they did an x-ray of her foot. That revealed that the nail narrowly missed hitting one of the many small bones that are in the foot. She had her tetanus shot booster in September, so we knew that was a good thing. We were concerned about infection setting in, so the doctor gave her a very strong antibiotic. So far she is healing up nicely. Just today is she finally able to walk on it without wincing in pain.
This experience provided for an interesting conversation last night. She looked at her swollen foot while sitting next to me and said, “I hate being able to feel pain!” As soon as she said it, I could see the wheels turning as she considered what she had just said. She followed her initial statement with, “Of course, if I didn’t feel pain, I might still be walking around with a nail in my foot!” I laughed and said, “You are exactly right. We can actually thank God for pain! Pain protects us from getting hurt even worse.”
Today, as I begin a new day, I am reminded of pain. Satan brings up the sins of my past. That’s painful. I recall how others have hurt me. More pain. I think of my Dad’s sudden home going and I feel yet another type of pain. At first glance, it seems as though our life would be better off without pain. But then, I paused and considered that, just like my daughter did.
The pain of past sin reminds me of Calvary, and the price that was paid for that sin. Jesus gave His life so that I might have forgiveness.That humbles me and I cry out to my Savior for help to do better! I thank Him for His mercy and His love. Yes, that pain is beneficial.
The pain of hurts from others gives me empathy for those who are also being hurt. It teaches me “what that feels like”, so that I will not do the same to others. It gives me the opportunity to obey the Scriptures by praying for those who are my enemies and who despitefully use me. (Matthew 5:44) I see that this pain is also for my good.
The pain of grief enables me to have compassion for others who have suffered loss. It reminds me that life is truly a vapor (James 4:14) and I must do what I can to show others the way of the cross today. I am not promised a tomorrow. It reminds me of Heaven, and how wonderful it will be to be there someday! In fact, I might be one breath, one heartbeat from that glorious home above! I’m not planning on hastening the process of death, but it doesn’t frighten me, either. To behold my Savior’s face! What a day that will be!
Upon reflection, I can, in fact, thank God for pain.