The Blessing and Curse of Pain

Suddenly I discovered a brad embedded between the outer corner of my thumb and my thumbnail.  The pain was exquisite.  Our hands are so finely crafted with protective growing coverings.  But there is a very fine vulnerable line and the piece of metal was deeply in.  For a moment I had visions of prison camps.  That was three days ago and I never thought much about how often I use the corner of my thumb for a multitude of tasks. Some are as simple as opening a letter or hitting the spacebar on my computer keyboard.  Ouch.

Pain is an amazing gift without which we would do immense harm to ourselves.  It reminds us to take our hand off the stove as quickly as possible and to wear shoes.   But, it is a mixed sensation of blessing and curse.  As it increases in intensity we begin to describe it with words like agony, misery, torture and anguish.  It is not limited to our physical nature but is experienced mentally and emotionally.  Often the only way not to feel it is to have it be overwhelmed by a worse pain elsewhere.

Jesus’ experience on the cross was such.  When He cried, “Why have you forsaken me” to His Father, the horror of the spikes in His hands, His raw skinless back resulting from the beatings and the crown of thorns became irrelevant when compared to the mental anguish of paying the price for our sins.  The innocent one took upon Himself the disgusting horror of our rebellion and was dying separated from the holiness of His Father.  While He could never be responsible for sin, He could and did pay the consequences.  His pain was far beyond the physical.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 19, 2012

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574