Just after Christmas, for the second time in four days I had been waiting in an emergency room with pain from what they say are kidney stones. They say that kidney stone pain is comparable or even worse then the pain of giving birth to a child. I wouldn’t know about the child birth side of things but definitely know about the pain of kidney stones. At one point the pain had me on my knees on the floor. At other times I am vomiting, I’m not certain how that would have helped pass kidney stones, but that is what my body wanted to do. Any pressure on the side of my back from lying or sitting would increase the pain.
In the midst of this, I prayed in English, prayed in tongues, called out to God for healing and His grace in the midst of this situation. Of course the question comes, “God, why is this happening?” The obvious answer was “because your body has a kidney stone and it is reacting to that unwanted object in your body”. But perhaps pain is a good thing, if I had not experienced pain then I would have no knowledge that something was not correct. The pains that we experience in life can sometimes warn us of danger and help teach us how to better live our lives.
If we never felt pain we would not remove our hand from a hot stove, we would not take care of a cut finger, we would not change or monitor our actions that caused pain to ourself or others, nor would we realize the brevity of our life. Pain can help us realize that this life is not the most important thing that we should focus upon, but rather that eternity in heaven, where there is no pain of suffering, is the ultimate goal and resting place for the believer in Jesus Christ. Of course the unbeliever is guaranteed anything but a painless eternity.
So perhaps pain helps us to evaluate what is happening in our immediate situation, but perhaps it also helps us to evaluate our future goals and aspirations. As I am living through this pain and as my body is reacting to this pain in ways that I don’t want it to, I am comforted by an awareness that God knows what I am going through, and at this very moment He has love and care for me.
No matter what we are going through now, we can draw encouragement, comfort and hope from the scripture that says, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:3,4