Someone said recently, "you stub your little toe and the whole body responds to it's cry." That's something we all know to be true. Did you also know that if you did not have pain, you could die? Pain tells us when something is wrong. Perhaps that's why people look at it in such a negative light.
Pain--something wrong, comfort--something good, but that's not always true. Let's look at this just a bit.
Have you ever touched something hot, completely unaware and burned yourself? Of course we all have done that. The pain told you to remove your hand or other body part before you incurred serious injury. Pain sets boundaries for our body and tells us when something is wrong.
Now let's relate that to our spiritual walk. I remember one year when my sister and her husband had come up for Christmas. We were all sitting around having breakfast when I made a humorous yet biting remark toward my husband. I was far more sarcastic in those days than I am now. Well my husband didn't really take notice of it, having been married to me for years. My sister, on the other hand, called me out on that and told me that it wasn't right to treat my husband with such lack of respect even in jest. It cut straight to my heart to have her do that and I vanished into another room...another closet to be precise, to cry.
I remember standing in that closet crying and praying that God would make me feel better...would take away the pain of what my sister had just done. In the middle of my whining for relief, God broke in a made me very much aware that He was not interested in me feeling better, He was interested in me changing.
I have never forgotten that moment and each time the correction of the Lord comes either by Him directly or through another person, I remind myself. "He's not interested in me feeling better, He's interested in me changing."
Now don't get me wrong, of course God is interested in our feelings, but not at the expense of us remaining in our sins. Jesus brought stern corrections many times. Not because he wanted to hurt the feelings of the person, but to affect change in the individual.
Take some time and think about it. What painful things are going on in your life right now? Is God trying to use that painful situation to show you where He wants you to change? Go take a moment and ask Him. Chances are He is.
God will not waste our pain...it's far too precious and costly to waste.