I sometimes get very confused and upset when I am in pain. I am told to pray. Well, I meditate and pray daily. I am told to praise God. I try to live by what Matthew writes in chapter 5, verse 16. I live my life doing what I can to reflect on the glory of God. But I still suffer in pain. There are two things that I truly believe: suffering is not the last word in my life, and, for God, all things are possible.
Do not get me wrong; I rarely ask God to lift my pain. There too many people suffering more than me, and whom I pray for God to comfort. This praying for others helps me cope with my difficulties. This is one way God eases my pain. And yet, there are times that I do complain to God; never as critically as Job does. I think I complain because when I am in pain, I feel like I am lost in the wilderness.
Then I remember that Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness, and I immediately find relief from this feeling. I never feel that my pain is sanctioned by God; He does not give me my pain, He comforts me when I need it. My loving wife and daughter both tell me that pain is not what stops me from doing things. It is the fear of pain that does. Mt prayers for God is to give me the courage to continue, to not give up.
My thoughts and actions are all aimed at making life pleasant for others; I do not anger at a person’s self-centeredness. I pray that God eases them of him of his burdens so he may be happy as me. I pray to comfort others, and as long as God allows me to do this, I am happy, pain or no pain.
I praise our Lord for all the good things in my life. And they are plentiful.
© Russell Kendall Carter