The Problem with Pain

This past week I went to the dentist to get some major work done on my teeth.  For two weeks prior to going to the dentist…I had such dread and anxiety.  I really do not like the dentist for the simple fact that I always walk away from the office in pain.  I don’t like pain! 

I especially don’t like pain that I knowingly walk into by choice.  I mean, really, who does that? 

The night before my procedure, I sat on my front porch and prayed.  I asked the Lord to be with me during the procedure and to allow my mouth to heal quickly, and that I wouldn’t experience any pain afterward. 

The next day, my friend picked me up (I needed her for moral support and physical support if I tried to talk myself out of it).  We entered the dentist office, and I looked at her and ask, “Do I really have to do this?”  Of course, being a mother of six kids she laughs and says “Yes!” 

I signed in, and my hands started sweating from the anxiety I was feeling, and I sat down to wait for my name to be called.  Within minutes, I hear “Cherie Clayton”.  I should have known that the day would be glorious and filled with miracles when my name was called to go back only five minutes after I sign in. 

I sat in the chair and waited while my heart beat out of my chest knowing that this was it…I was at the point of no return!  The dentist entered and asked if I was ready for this.  What!?  Is he crazy?  Who is ever ready for pain? 

After a brief pep talk from the dentist…which included his evil plan of torture to my mouth, I opened up for him to begin.  First, he gives me numerous shots to deaden my mouth…which made me feel as if my lips swelled to three times their size.  Then he leaves the room and I wait as the Novocain starts to take its full effect.  I also sit there, with my mind reeling about the pain I will go through after this drug wears off.

The dentist enters again and begins the procedure.  When everything was said and done…I walk back into the waiting room where my friend is faithfully waiting for me, and I give a puffy, gauzed filled, numb smile to her and she laughs.  I tried not to laugh along with her; for fear that my bloody gauze will fall out of my mouth and drool would spill down onto my shirt.

See, the problem with pain is that none of us wants to go through it.  We want the results of what comes after the pain…but not the pain itself.  The other problem with pain is that we usually have to walk it alone.  Those around us can’t take our pain from us, nor can they go through the pain for us.  The last problem with pain is that we never really know how long it will stick around.

Over the past few days, I have pondered on pain.  Thankfully…miraculously, after the Novocain wore off I did not experience the kind of pain anticipated.  It wasn’t excruciating nor did I need to take any pain meds!  However, many of us have experienced a deeper pain than that of a medical procedure. 

With the pain in our hearts…this at many times feels as if it will kill our soul…we never know when the pain will end.  There is not a shot of Novocain that can be taken, or a pain medicine that will sooth the hurt.  It’s a pain that we must walk through in order to get to the other side of it.  We often wonder if it will ever end!

We have our friends who are there for us, who listen to our hearts as we spill out the hurt, and love us through it all.  However, sometimes…they can’t even begin to fathom the pain we are in.  They may not have ever had to walk where we had to walk in our pain.  They are there for moral and physical support…but they can’t go through the pain for us.

In order for us to get to the other side of our pain there is only one way to do it…and that is go through it.  We must walk that road of feeling our pain, owning our pain, processing our pain.  We cannot receive the full beauty we desire if we don’t go through the pain.

I want to encourage you today…as you walk through your pain…whatever it may be, God is right there in the midst of it.  Just as I felt His presence in the dentist chair as I anxiously sat through my procedure…He is right there in your pain.

God never promised us a life without pain, but He did promise us that he would be our rod and our staff.  He will be our provider and support.  He will never leave us nor forsake us. 

No matter if the pain in our heart is from our own doing, or by others faults…He walks through the pain with us.  He is there holding our hand and wanting to make something utterly beautiful out of our pain.  He gives us beauty for ashes, laughter for mourning! 

There is a season for everything under the sun…there is a season for pain as well.  Don’t be ashamed or afraid to feel the pain.  Tell God all about it…tell Him how scared you are, how lonely you are, how hurt you are, how angry you are.  He is not afraid of our pain.

This too shall pass…and when you are on the other side…you will look back and see worth in the pain you went through.  God always turns our pain into a beautiful masterpiece.  Allow God to paint on the canvas of your heart…on the canvas of your pain.  Then step back and stand in awe of the beauty you see staring back at you from the mirror!

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