PAIN IS EVERYWHERE.. and our God alone is the answer.
There is pain in our bodies, minds, and even our souls. Pain is found inside our own families, with our friends, and if you turn on the news it is filled with angry, hurting, and often hateful people wanting relief and/or revenge.
For me in 2021 physical pain has become my companion. About three weeks ago I had surgery to relieve nerve pain in my lower back. This surgery went well, BUT just as I was feeling better about my back I went to the ER suffering with very bad headaches. The ER doctor did a CT scan suggesting I may need surgery to repair another disc issue this time in my neck. I will know more over the next few days as an MRI is scheduled.
So this recent bout with pain has inspired the following 'deep thoughts' regarding pain...
Of course PAIN IS a relative experience prone to hyperbole. For example right now I have headache that is killing me and my head feels like it will explode. but.. truth be told I am sure I will live and my wife will not likely be cleaning up 'brain guts' this evening from any explosion.
* note * don't try this at home ->
But seriously, it is true many of the important lessons I have learned are the product of pain. It may be dealing with physical pain, or often lessons learned on the other side of (painful) blunders, stumbles, and/or bad choices. Or even deeper yet are the lessons I found in the death of a friend or family member.
I also believe this problem of PAIN & SUFFERING is the source for that age old question. If there is a God why does he allow bad things to happen to good people?
This is a valid question. Here is where I see a 'Dangerous Beauty' where God the Creator allows his creation (you & me) the opportunity to persevere and succeed despite this world's pain and constant state of brokenness.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
This Dangerous Beauty is found as we are allowed to choose right over wrong in big & small ways, and even good instead of evil.
There is DANGER in choosing poorly, and if we do not persevere.. and danger when we choose well in the face of a world that chooses poorly, BUT...
There is BEAUTY in choosing well, supporting others, and when we persevere while trusting God when it would be easier to quit when bad things happen to good people.
To summarize.. Faith, Family, and Friends (in that order) are how God comforts and heals this world of hurt. So I seek God today as my compass and my only worship, and I thank Him for the blessing of faith, family and friends where we can love and support each other as God intends.. even in times of pain.
May God bless and provide for each of you this day with love and grace when you are hurting physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually. While pain can be discouraging may we as believers (His Church) be God's comfort and healing for others in this broken/hurting world while always leaning on His Spirit.
Jeff (ibuprofen & Spirit infused) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson