‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
~ Revelation 21:4
One of the hardest things to understand is when we have pain. While at a retreat this last spring I met a woman who lives with constant pain in her feet. "It feels like someone takes a hammer to my feet every single moment that I am alive."
She has undergone several surgeries to try and isolate the group of nerves that causes the pain, but has had little to no success. She is unable to walk, and has had to withdraw from daily life. As she shared with me she often mentioned, "Why doesn't God just take me home? I would be just fine with that."
Human suffering is something that each of us have thought about and hope that we never experience. Working with hospice patients, I often hear them relate to me what the next life will be like. "Heaven sounds like such a perfect place," but then they talk about the process. "I hope that I don't suffer."
While no one wants to suffer, the scriptures are full of stories of persons who have suffered at great lengths, not just spiritually, but physical pain as well. No pain is alike. Jesus' own story of suffering reminds us that pain exists.
Writers throughout scripture, even when they were suffering, try to find ways to relate hope during such times. Even Jesus shared with the man hanging beside him on the day of his death, "Today you will be with me in paradise."
The understanding that we may encounter pain in our life, is filled with promises that through our faithfulness eternity will bring a different condition. One where we will never suffer again.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, while I may encounter pain or suffering in my life, may I never forget the promise that You will be with me always. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.