The Blessing of Pain

To be in a place of pain can be one of the biggest blessings of your life. No, you did not hear me wrong. I will say it again. To be in a place of pain can be one of the biggest blessings of your life. I will explain further. A couple of years back I had a short-lived love-affair with Yoga. I say short lived because my favorite part was the nap you get to take at the end of the class. (I can't help it, silence and deep breathing is going to put me to sleep every time.) There is one thing that happened in one of my classes I will never forget. The instructor called out a pose and I immediately followed her into the pose as best I could. I was in pain and watching as beads of sweat rolled off my face and onto my bright purple mat. At that very moment I felt a hand on my back and sudden pressure as the instructor pushed me even further down into the pose. I was now really hurting, really sweating and just ready to get to the best part of the class, the nap of course. The instructor went to the front of the class and said the following: "When you think you have gotten as deep as you can into your pose, go deeper. There's a tendency within us as humans to shy away from pain. But if we can instead push deeper into it you come away able to do more than you ever thought you could do."

She was right. Now that I looked down at my legs they were stretched farther than I thought they could ever stretch. I even looked like I somewhat knew what I was doing. I came away from that class a little better, yes a little more sore, but certainly a lot more flexible and a whole lot more confident.

There is a tendency in each of us to not ever want to go through pain. None of us would sign up for it willingly. But what I said at the beginning is true, it can be the biggest blessing of your life.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. CS Lewis

The top of the mountain is a wonderful place to be. The view is beyond compare. But at the top of the mountain there is no signs of life. If you look from the top of the mountain down to the valley, oh how luscious the valley is. There is growth happening and life and beauty in that valley.

The valleys of our life can bring pain and tremendous heartbreak, they can also bring life and wonder. When you are at your most broken you hear and feel God in ways you never have before. It is as if God is shouting because it is so easy to hear Him clearly when He is all that your ear wants to hear. When your pain is so deep that you cry out in desperation He is more real to you than ever before. It's something not everyone gets to experience. If you are one of the ones who does, don't count yourself as unfortunate, count yourself as honored. What you have walked through will strengthen you for the mountain top that is ahead.

If you are in a place consumed by pain here is what you do, embrace it. Dig deeper. Lean fully into that "pose" and you will come out of it stronger than ever before. That, my friends, is the blessing of pain.