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    The Gift Of Pain.


"Thank God for inventing pain! I don't think He could have done a better job! It's beautiful!"   As one who was raised a devout coward, I just have to ask myself what ding-a-ling would make a statement like that?  


In fact, the statement was made by a medical doctor, Dr. Paul Brand, who is one of the world's foremost authorities on Hansen's disease (formerly called leprosy)which is a disease that attacks the nervous system and destroys the sensation of pain. Dr. Brand has seen countless bodies deformed, damaged and injured because insensitivity to pain meant people have unwittingly damaged their bodies without knowing it.

Pain is an early warning system that let's us know that something is wrong and warns us against action or movement that could further damage us. In that sense, pain is a gift. We touch something hot.....or experience that nagging toothache....or the sprained ankle that causes us to favour that leg.....such pain is a friend, not an enemy.  


Of course, not all pain is good. I have sat helplessly with people experiencing seemingly endless pain. You may be a person who lives life in almost constant pain. There are times when pain becomes a mystery and generates unanswerable questions.   In the face of these unanswered questions, some people have retreated into the mists of atheism and agnosticism. But there are no answers there, either.


To deny the existence of a God of love because of pain and suffering in our world relieves us of having to reconcile love and suffering. But we are no closer to understanding the problem of pain.   I live in the tension of believing in the God of love as revealed in the life of Jesus Christ and, at the same time, being part of a world where much of the available evidence denies and slanders the belief I have in the love of this God.  


But all the evidence isn't in yet. The jigsaw puzzle isn't complete. My finite capacity of understanding cannot understand the infinite. However, the day is coming when Jesus will return to reclaim His world. Then all the evidence will be seen. Then we will know the answers to what are now the unanswerable questions.  

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