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This Side of Heaven

Pain is unavoidable. Starting this off on a happy note, I know; but I’ve been pondering pain recently.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a dear friend of mine and something she said stuck out to me: she doesn’t like worrying because it makes her feel bad, so she just doesn’t. Period. Doesn’t like worrying, so she doesn’t.

As someone with a biological and chemical presupposition to anxiety, I’ll admit, when my friend first said that, two thoughts entered my head: she’s naïve, and I’m jealous.

After struggling day-in and day-out against an overthinking and overly fearful brain– gosh, it would be so nice to just turn the worries off. I don’t like it so I don’t do it. Simple, right?

I wish I was at the same level as my friend, but I’m not. I may never be.

My mind causes me great pain, and to some extent, it always will… this side of Heaven.

But after my initial envy and dismissal, I realized something: this friend, this woman of faith who chooses to not worry, she’s battling cancer. She’s in remission, thankfully, but there’s no guarantee. Cancer is her unavoidable pain… this side of Heaven.

I have another friend who has Parkinson's, another who gets tremors. And another who had to get her leg amputated.

Her pain goes by the name CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), aka ‘the suicide disease,’ because you feel like you’re burning alive and… a lot of people can’t go on.

This incurable, mostly unknown disease is her unavoidable pain… this side of Heaven.

Are you sensing a theme yet?

We will all struggle with pain– physical, mental, emotional, spiritual– but we don’t have to succumb to it. Yes, pain is inevitable, but you know what else is? God. He is inevitable and unavoidable and all-powerful and NEVER far away.

And He hurts with you. Every ache, every wound, every tear, He feels them too. Remember that He also endured pain– thorns and blood and nails and spears and suffocation and lashes and a cross. I think we tend to forget that, everything we face, Jesus faced too… for us (Matt 26:38). His pain, for us.

But why does He allow pain to exist? Why must it be unavoidable?

Only God can answer that. But I do know that a ton of Scriptures point us to these Truths:

  1. Our suffering is not in vain; it makes us stronger and grows us closer to our Maker (Rom 5:3-5).

  2. By growing closer to God, if we allow Him, He will wipe every tear and heal us and comfort us like the good Father He is (found in a bunch of verses that you can find here).

Pain is unavoidable, yes, but it is also purposeful and temporary. It is only found on this side of Heaven; imagine what it will be like to go Home.


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