The Problem of Pain

Pain is not partial. It rears its ugly head in every home in every neighborhood in every city on every continent. It is not a respecter of age, race, or gender. Pain is almost always caused by loss.

Pain can be brought on by a medical condition resulting in a loss of health. It can be caused by the loss of a relationship through a disagreement, a divorce, or the death. Sometimes a person is attacked physically, emotionally, verbally, or mentally and this develops a loss of safety. The opposite of someone attacking would be someone neglecting and this ends in a loss of nurture. The list could go on and on. There are many ways that we experience the loss of something which results in physical, mental or emotional pain. We have all had it, seen it in others, and have even been, at times, the cause of it.

There is nothing we can do to protect ourselves or others from ever feeling pain. Pain is like a river that winds through our lives. At different points of our journey we must go through the river to get to the other side. Sometimes when the pain is greatest we become overwhelmed and are paralyzed by the pain from moving forward. It is those extremely painful times when we need someone to help us  walk through it to the other side.. C. S. Lewis says, “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

. It seems clear that a common denominator in all these situations is a loss of something unexpected. Change has entered the house and made herself at home. There has been some kind of change that was not wanted or welcomed.

“Change can come in many forms in our lives. It might come forcefully like a tidal wave, or creep along incrementally like a glacier. It might come in the form of devastating tragedy, difficult choices, broken relationships, or even new opportunities. But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.” — Keep Inspiring Me

Even opportunities that we may want can bring us pain? Being pushed out of our comfort zone is not only painful but necessary if we are to embrace the opportunity. This kind of change is especially painful and many times difficult for children. Starting a new grade in school or trying to learn a new skill, may be exciting to anticipate but can be painful in the learning process.

From birth we are changing, learning and growing. It is the unexpectedness of change that, can be quite painful. The ups and downs of emotion can make us feel like a ship tossed on a raging ocean. Pain can produce doubts, and fears that circle us like sharks ready to attack.

Our safety doesn’t come in trying to prevent the change, the pain, or the problems. Our safety is found in Jesus. He is the anchor of our soul, the safe harbor where we can find rest from the attack of the sharks of doubt and fear, peace from the crashing waves, and a balm of healing for our weary worn souls. Teaching our children to run to Jesus is the best skill they we can ever teach them.

I became a Christian when I was six. I learned very quickly that Jesus never grew tired of my prayers, never grew bored with me, and never was too busy to listen to my broken heart..  By the time I was eleven He had become my very best friend. When my mom died that year, it was Jesus that bottled up my tears when I cried myself to sleep. It was His Word that reminded me that Heaven was just another country, His country, and someday I would see my mom again. He gave me hope and courage to face the future. If we teach the promises of His Word to our children it will help them through the painful moments of life.

The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.

My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter,

my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.

Psalm 18:2 NET Bible

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."