Can one person’s pain be compared to another’s? I believe every person’s pain, be it physical or emotional, is 100% real to that person and unique to them. To them, that pain hurts and may well be the worst that they have known. How and why then should their pain be compared to anybody else’s?
I believe God gives each of us only what we can bear, He will never allow it to become too much and if we turn to Him He will be there to comfort and strengthen us. We make a conscious choice of going it alone, or asking for God’s help.
Turning to God for strength is not just “the way we are” – a believer or not – but is an acknowledgement that we are weak and in need of strength that we don’t have within ourselves.
The most part of these past 12 years have been a real struggle for me and I wouldn’t want to have to re-live them. However, I am grateful for having been diagnosed with my brain tumor (in 1994), and then later (in 2000) with chronic pain. I am aware that this may sound very strange but I am grateful for what going through the physical and emotional hardship has given me – an appreciation of the gift that every day is. Having the awareness that from the moment I wake up I am in need of God’s strength is another great blessing.
In modern society weakness isn’t seen as being a positive thing, but I think the opposite. We have shouting at us through the media that being strong, being fit, not being in need of anything or anyone is what we should aspire to. So it isn’t surprising that physical and emotional weakness is perceived as a negative thing.
It has only been in experiencing extreme weakness over these past 12 years that I have learnt that I can’t do it on my own. I know that I am dependent on God’s strength to get me through every hour of each day and this is the reason that He is the first ‘person’ I turn to each day. I get through each day by turning, time and time again, to God for strength. In the fourth chapter of Philippians in the Bible Paul says “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” and this is something that I have personally found to be true.
Jesus said in the book of Matthew in the Bible, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When I have turned to God with my pain I have found Him. I have then asked Him for the strength to keep going through the hardship, have experienced a lifting of my burden and have found the strength within myself to keep moving forwards.
Sure, God hasn’t actually taken my pain away, but He has given me the strength to cope with it. This is how I have found strength amidst pain.