Merriam-Webster tells us pain is
the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body
: mental or emotional suffering : sadness caused by some emotional or mental problem
Perhaps physical pain is a precursor to emotional pain. When I remember the times of intense physical pain in my life, I automatically tense every muscle--find my jaw tightened, and my heart rate increased. Childbirth--surgeries--illnesses--smashed fingers--sprained ankles--and the list goes on--all cause intense physical pain. The pain of childbirth has a reward--but the other physical pain--the reward is surviving the pain.
Emotional pain ---the empty seat across the table---the silence once filled by the voice of one lost in a disagreement---watching a child suffering the insufferable---standing by and watching loved ones make life altering mistakes---facing a bleak future--financially--the inability to feed your family--the agony of betrayal--the defeat of rejection---and this list is endless. Each and every one leading to crippling--life changing emotional pain---with seemingly no antidote
I recently read this quote-
“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
― Rose Kennedy
― Rose Kennedy
Perhaps Mrs. Kennedy is correct, but I prefer to stand with Frederick Buechner when he wrote of the "Stewardship of Pain". Perhaps the "Why" of enduring pain has to do with our stewardship of our suffering. Who has helped me most in my most intense pain? Those who have endured the same--and lived to tell about it. The encouragement ---which came with great empathy--shared with great love--allowed me to hope for a better tomorrow.
My choice then becomes---refusing to let go---to heal--to admit I am blessed and today is indeed a good day---or healing through the stewardship of the suffering by sharing--by encouraging--by freely giving of myself to help another. Life is filled with pain--perhaps one of the answers to the "Why's" is not that God does not love us--but that He loves us so much He provides the balm of compassion from others who have gone down the same path.
We will never understand the "Why's" this side of eternity--but we are given the blessing of being good stewards of all that is given--even the pain.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.