The Gift of Pain
What is the point of creation? In God's infinite knowledge, he decided to create mankind and this world, but why? His decision was not based on his need, and he already foresaw the sin that would so horribly distort and separate his creation from Him. So why did he bother to create us and this world anyway? I have spent countless hours pondering this philosophical repose, the amount of time rising exponentially with each new painful trial I journey through. Pain. Alas, it is the great catalyst for many of my unceasing questions and thoughts. Every fiber of my being screams out in protest against pain. Can the two somehow relate to each other?
Surely the sovereign Creator experiences deep sorrow relating to the condition of his creation if he truly desires that none should perish. I am convinced that somehow the answer to "Why?" is wrapped intimately in the vast and measureless love of God. Would all his work and sorrow regarding his creation be worth it for just one who would receive and believe in the Holy One? I feel certain that God thinks so, however incapable my mind will always be of truly understanding the depth of such a concept. How much will we be able to grasp regarding the vastness of God's love on this side of eternity? For me, it is simply too marvelous to even begin to behold. How then does a God so rich in love and abounding in mercy allow and ultimately design such great suffering and sorrow in our temporal earthly existence?
Somehow I know deep in the intensity of my soul that our pain must be one of God's greatest gifts of love. The gift of pain? Ha! The very sound of such a sentence can seem heretical and absurd; and yet, is it truly? In all of our self sufficiency, egotism, and brilliance we often feel no true need for God. We are self made, picturesque, miniature deities of our own private affairs and need nothing more than time to accomplish all our great achievements. How often am I guilty of such absurd reasonings that lead me to the deft, deceptive thoughts that I somehow am in control of my life? I am grieved to find, that it happens far too often. What then does it take to help me realize my finite mortality? Ah, pain seems to be such a masterful teacher. So vast are the tools that etch us through the pains we face in this life. Sadly, most often it is the utter horror of pain that reflects most brilliantly my desperate need for God. It is in my despair that my limits are most clearly realized and my fragility draws me near to the one who gives me life and sustains me through His grace.
The gift of pain then is what, exactly? Have I not made it clear? The gift is the clarity that pain can bring regarding our finite state and our need for our infinite Creator. Pain longingly draws our souls back to the one who we were created for. As naturally as a child longs for their mother during their desperate times of need, so our soul naturally longs for our sovereign deity. Pain provides a clarity of soul that no other agent this side of Heaven seems to be able to perform. Constant is our longing for more of God, for redemption, for help during our times of deep pain. All self sufficiency gets stripped away and the truth of our state is revealed clearly to us: we need God! Only through the knowledge of our need are we helped and ultimately saved by his immense and matchless grace.
Therefore, I submit that pain truly is a gift to those who in their sinful nature would never realize their deep, true need for the one and only God! Could that lead us to the answer to why God bothered to create us at all? Does he feel that the joy of intimacy with even one of his creation somehow makes all the pain and suffering worth the cost? While I may never begin to understand the implications of this truth, I have no doubt that God does indeed believe we are worth the cost.