New Words of Joy

by John Toeneboehn

Please, dear God, take my pain away

        How many times have we heard this, or said this, in mental and, or physical anguish? Coming from a spouse or child or any close relative these words clearly indicate fear and a need for help beyond the medical assistance that we normally rely on. Coming from our own heart it reveals a need where faith alone is the only option.

        How is it that the human body as beautiful and enduring as it may be can without resolve reveal a feature that turns everyday life into cruel and tormenting existence? Certainly the medical professionals have determined that pain is actually a designed element that protects every part of our body system. If you put your hand into very hot water, the brain responds with a cry and a reflex that pulls your hand away from the danger. The exact same process protects all of our body surfaces and internal joints and organs.

        How does this designed human feature create such an overwhelming need to plead for help from our Creator? Each voice heard by God reveals an infinite variety of need for a change in our condition whether it is mental grief or physically disrupted system failure.

        As we point our attention to God seeking dramatic or incidental relief, we reveal a belief in our Creator and a sense that His attention alone could be our source of consolation.

        How did the human body end up with such an awkward defense mechanism? Historically we can blame Adam for the apple bite that God forbid him to enjoy. Now we all have limitations that certainly were not part of Godís original plan. If it wasnít planned that way, why canít God just change His mind and make our human existence considerably more pleasant?

        It must be simply that pain has value. Otherwise, why did God choose to become human and endure the most incredible suffering that can be inflicted? And He did all that just for the possibility that we may encourage God to bring us into His kingdom forever if we just follow a few house rules. If God suffered so much for us, and gained salvation for all of mankind by experiencing the pain of crucifixion, what value could our individual suffering have especially if we intentionally offer it to Him as it occurs? And the really tough part is, should we accept all personal suffering even though we know that three aspirin may diminish the difficulty? Is it really possible to accept a body defect, direct the suffering to Godís attention, and try to save a friends soul? And if that did occur, how pleased would God be to know that you made that effort and that intention to save one soul that He loves so much? Now ask God for help, and see how efficiently your relief occurs, and in more ways than you could possibly have imagined.

        Accepting pain that cannot be mended due to location or financial limitations will reveal the true value of faith in the heart. That is, the faith in the love that our Creator truly has for each of us in His heart. Constant pain seems to slow down the clock that controls our life cycle. It just never seems to end, and therefore can create a temptation to blame God for this unacceptable situation. Why me? The fact is there are billions of meís around the globe, but we only see one at a time. Facing this situation with true faith as a single me, and fully aware of the time-line limit that we live in can give us the opportunity to actually see Godís love even before our last breath occurs. If we constantly offer each moment of torment to our God in exchange for the salvation of even one other soul no matter who that may be, He will find ways to bring peace into our hearts even as our body lays in agony.

    Given the desire to begin an effort like this, and it is an effort, where do you start? The first step is the very next occurrence of discomfort even just a minor feeling. Maybe youíve been traveling, and your back is sore. Instead of jumping to the drug store for options, say a little prayer, just a thought of how you can accept this discomfort if God will bring peace between you and your daughter. Then let it go and have faith that God really did hear you. As future difficulty prevails the experience of the first step will help you to expand your hopes and dreams based on your need to accept a day or week of difficulty. Then the accomplishment will feed further effort and your deep faith in Godís true love and ear to your need will help you to solve the next unexpected blemish in your daily life.