“Pain is weakness leaving the body” is a very popular workout motto, but is this true in the other facets beyond that of exercise and exertion? Does all pain offer some benefit to individuals realizing that pain?
One section of Scripture offers this: “-tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” (Romans 5: 3-5) If tribulation (also known as oppression, affliction, anguish, distress, or pressure) is capable of making a person patient, experienced, and hope-filled, then pain does offer a hope of growth.
One article called The 15 Benefits of Pain by Brian Dodd (Brian Dodd Leadership/ 2.24.2011/ briandoddonleadership.com) suggests some perks of pain. Here are five: 1) Struggle-this is necessary to produce strength; 2) Warning-pain shows us that something is not right; 3) Impetus- pain offers the opportunity to learn, grow, and improve; 4) Clarity- pain helps clarify priorities and aids in decision making; 5) Balance- the balance that pain offers helps to focus on the important.
My own experience with physical pain is limited (and I’ve already touched on the emotional pain of loss): the pain of childbirth and the pain of knee-replacement surgery. For me, giving birth promoted me into the realm of women everywhere who have felt the intense pain of bringing children into the world and adding hope to the future of our planet. Knee replacement offered the pain needed to recover and add exercise and movement to my lifestyle. For me, both types of pain produced patience, experience, and hope. Patience through the healing process, experience of personally understanding pain, and hope for a new future.
Are you (or have you) experiencing pain? Can you objectively assess the ways that pain has added strength to your personality or character? Has it helped improve your life? Has it been able to encourage others who are experiencing similar pain? Another Scripture says that “God comforts us in all our tribulation, so that we may comfort others.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) How can I use what I’ve been through to help others?