Angelina Jolie has a tattoo that says in another language 'that which does not kill me, makes me stronger'. In the book You Matter More than You Think Dr. Parrott states:
'Ultimately, the pain we carry in our hearts is the grinding stone that
shapes us to love. It sharpens our capacity to be tender with another's wounds
and to empathize without judgement.'
She goes on to say:
'It takes the sharp edges of our personalities and slowly smooths them into
a person who can be tender with another's wounds.' And then finally 'Because of pain, you make a difference. Pain will give you permission to
walk into places you've never dreamed you'd enter, and it can change your
relationships like no other else. Pain, your personal grinding stone, has a
purpose whenever it is used to make a difference.'
We try so hard to avoid pain in any form don't we? None of us would choose to endure pain, yet it is there for a reason. For our good. To make us stronger, better women. To help us better love others and eachother.
Pain comes in lots of forms though, doesn't it? Harsh words. Dreams delayed or maybe deferred. Cross country moves, growing teenagers, children's health issues, marital strife, aging parents or grandparents (or maybe just aging), personal health issues, financial complications. The pain you experience, even if it is the same problem, will not be the same pain for me. How we experience pain will effects us each individually. Hopefully however we process the pain it will cause us to become more like Christ. More loving, merciful, graceful, patient, kind, self-controlled, joyful, and faithful. So many turn, even if it is just for a time or season, to be bitter, sharp, cold, curt, or judgmental. I certainly have done this. But I want my first response to be better.
When I get squeezed from the pain of life I want what comes out to be good. I am afraid what in reality does come out a lot of the time is the realization of my own sin nature. The nasty selfish, self pitying part. It seems I am not so unlike my children. I need the pain of life to teach me lasting lessons. The rod of discipline before I turn from myself. The Bible says
'The Lord disciplines those He loves'and much of the time that discipline takes the form of some kind of pain. But I need it. So I guess pain really can be a friend.