Until you see the purpose in your pain, it will remain painful!
There is a correlative nexus between PAIN and PURPOSE. Your purpose is hidden in your pain. Until you see the purpose in your pain, your pain will remain painful.
Did you ever stop to wonder why you experience pain? Have you ever assessed your pain to find out the purpose of it? If everything works for your good, you must understand pain does as well, as painful as that may be.
We would all have to go through pains in life, but not all of us would discover the purpose in our pain.
There are two critical decisions that must be made in the moment of pain: The first is to determine what to do in your pain, and the second what to do with your pain.
The first has to do with you, while the second has to do with others. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
You can wallow in your pain for the rest of your life or you can flip around and actually choose to use it for good. What would be your choice?
Most people miss out of their purpose because they live their lives trying to avoid pain or look for something to protect them from it. Pain does not destroy a man; it reveals him to himself.
In fact, the more difficult a pain is, the more discoveries you make in the process of resolving it.
In one of her articles, Life Beyond Abuse, Joyce Meyer chronicled how she was sexually, mentally, emotionally and verbally abused by her father until she left home at age of 18. She shared how she was raped continuously for at least 200 times by her own father.
The anguish, pain and fear left an indelible scar on her self-esteem, but it is amazing how this same woman has grown over the years to write countless articles and books on topics that are related to abuse, self-esteem, confidence, forgiveness, rejection, gratitude, fear, addiction and habits; topics that were gleaned out of her raw experience in overcoming her childhood abuse.
We must interpret our pain through the lens of God’s purpose.
Mark Batterson captured it well when he said: “It’s not our experiences that make us or break us. It’s our interpretation of and explanation for those experiences that ultimately determines who we become. Your explanations are more important than your experiences.”
Don’t let the confusion of your pain cloud the clarity of the purpose it can serve in your life.
God is capable of using every bad pain to produce a very good purpose. To help you find purpose in your pain, ask yourself these questions: How could the story of my pain offer hope to somebody else who needs to hear my story? How has my pain changed my attitude toward others who are suffering?
What can I create or produce that would be a resource of hope for others? How is my pain prompting me to make changes in how I live my life? How is my pain prompting me to make my remaining days matter? What is God saying to me in my pain? Until you get the message in your pain, your pain would persist.
Viktor Emil Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the Founder of Logotherapy, a psychotherapic approach, which believes that lack of meaning is the paramount cause for continuous pain, stress and psychological sicknesses and that the source of all human problems is the crisis of meaninglessness.
Frankl survived the holocaust, even though he was in four Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, from 1942 to1945, but his parents and other members of his family died in the concentration camps.
The inscription at the entrance to the feared Nazi death camp of Auschwitz was meant to kill a man ‘little,’ even before entering the camp- “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.”
Even in the degradation and abject misery of a concentration camp, Frankl was able to exercise the most important freedom of all- the freedom to determine one’s attitude and spiritual well-being in every situation. No sadistic Nazi guard was able to take that away from him or control the inner life of Frankl’s soul.
One of the ways he found the strength to fight to stay alive and not lose hope was to think of the purpose in his pain. Frankl clearly saw that it was those who had nothing to live for who died quickest in the concentration camp.
During and because of his suffering in the concentration camp, Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy called logotherapy. At the core of this theory is the belief that humanity’s primary motivational force is to search for meaning in every situation and the work of the logotherapist centres on helping the patient find personal meaning to life, however dismal the pain and circumstances may be.
According to logotherapy, meaning can be discovered in three ways: By creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone and by the attitude we take towards unavoidable suffering.
Out of his years of pain, Viktor later wrote a book that revolutionised our approach to pain. His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has been acclaimed as the most comprehensive and most important literature to emerge from the dungeon of Hitler’s concentration camps.
How could he do so much good after experiencing so much pain? His words in “Man’s Search for Meaning” provides some perspective: “Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way in the moment that it finds a meaning.”
Frankl leveraged what was (his pain) for what could be (his purpose). And so you can also. You may not see it right now, but there is meaning hiding in the shadows of your pain. We must pursue purpose that would outlast our pain.
Frankl gave his most famous line when he said: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstance, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Pain Instructs Us
Benjamin Franklin said: “Those things that hurt, instruct.” Facing pain is inevitable, learning from them is optional. Those things that hurt us can also teach us something as well. The pain would keep coming until we finally learn the lessons.
Pain Reveals Us
Pain can reveal hidden and latent potentials. Many people don’t know what they are capable of until they face their pain. It is only what we face that we can phase out. Pain gives us the platform to express abilities that have been long subdued in us.
Pain Makes Us Grow Stronger
Some people just go through life, but mastering your pain makes you grow through life. Ernest Hemingway said: “The world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”
Many times, tough times help to discover the strength we never knew was within. Kahlil Gibran said: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Pain Makes Us More Creative
Wills Damien said: “The purpose of every difficult time is to place a demand on our creativity.” Most innovations that we see today are mostly as a result of creative response to pain and problems.
Pain Makes Us Happier
Pain makes us happier. Helen Keller said: “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” There is a depth of joy that comes from mastering and overcoming our pain.
Pain Gives Us Purpose
Don’t hide your scars because the scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit. Your messes would soon become your message. Your errors are gradually turning you to a hero. Your trials would soon become your triumph. Your adversity is turning to your advancement. Your frustration would soon become your fuel. And your scars would one day turn you to a star.
You need to have a winning approach towards pain. A winning attitude converts a mess into a message, scars into stars, bitterness into ‘betterness,’ frustration into fuel, misery into ministry, and adversity into advancement. There are some pains that come to fortify us towards a more dangerous “unseen.”
Finally, I would like you to do a deep rethinking on this: The TRAVEL is worthy of TRAVAIL when you are on the right PATH. Are you on the right path in your career, in that ministry, in your relationships, in that business, in that location? There are some pains that don’t really worth the journey.