Pain there is in myriad amount and variety. We cannot escape the fact that there is pain in this world, in each of our lives, circumstantially and existentially. Pain is so inlaid within life it causes us to ask a question as to its role.
If pain is taken as a given – again, there are so many variations of pain, all of which are valid, even if some versions of pain are more compellingly valid than others – we have an option. Wrestle with it or give into it? But notice that it’s only by making the right choice (to wrestle) that we access the only compensation for pain – the greatest thing about pain is what’s coming. Whatever is coming that instils joy is hope.
The greatest thing about pain is the hope that says, “this will soon be over.” That hope inspires us to persevere. And persevere we must. No other viable option remains. So, we are challenged to rest up, and not give up. A great many decisions to persist were made out of a resolve that came out of a peace-lit reflection – where we took all the ligatures off ourselves, thought with clarity, and realised with boldness that our challenge is doable.
This is where the Christian hope sets free those in pain, to a future that transcends the pain. Heaven, in a word; where there will be no more tears and pain (read Revelation 21-22).
This will soon be over, when God wills it over. And compared with eternity, our lives are so correspondingly short.
Yet, there are many types of pain that are temporary, where the hope we may hold has viability in this life. Whether it’s fatigue or physical pain or depression or grief or loneliness; there is hope in this life that such pain has an end in this life. These are the foretastes of heaven in the manner of our very lives.
Such a hope has to captivate our attention, because it causes us to hope in the majestic lived reality of faith; the only logical way to live, which, paradoxically, would seem illogical.
Pain forces us to hope or it drives us into oblivion. See how there’s only the one option?