Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
When was the last time you were in pain?
That you were stressed out emotionally, mentally or even physically?
Who did you turn to when you were down?
And - most importantly - did it (or he or she) make you feel any better?
If you're like most people, the first people you call when you are experiencing emotional distress are those who are closest to you.
You pick up the phone and call your mom. Or your best friend. Or you vent to your co-workers.
Or you cry yourself to sleep.
Or you reach out on social media to those who profess to be your friends (and hopefully are).
Or you realize there is no one to whom you can turn.
If you're anything like me, you've realized one significant thing about going to others about your problems:
No matter how much another person loves or cares for you, they cannot take away your pain.
And if you turn to chemicals, alcohol, drugs or any other addiction to numb your pain, I know you've learned this:
The pain always returns.
So you go to people and the pain doesn't go away. You number yourself through drink or drugs (or other addictions) and the pain doesn't go away. It always returns. It is like a gray cloud hanging over your days.
You see doctors, get prescribed pills and the pain doesn't go away. You do everything within your power to manage your mental, emotional or spiritual distress and the pain doesn't go away.
Or it gets buried.
Or you just learn to ignore it or live with it.
Here is what I have to say to you, Dear Christian Friend: Pain is just a reminder that you need God.
Yes, you should talk to your friends (your good, Christian friends). And yes, you should go see your doctor. And yes, you should take your pills or prescribed regimens and do whatever your health care or mental health workers tell you to do.
But you should also seek the face and will of God.
Because I can assure you - He is the only One who can actually take away that pain.
He is the only One who can give you the deep down nurturing and comforting that you will need to get through your problems.
He is the only One who has the knowledge to show you the right path, get you the help that you need as you learn to go to Him to wash away and soothe your troubles and pains.
He is the only One who loves you with the intensity that a Father has for His Child, a mother has for her daughter and the joy that the Creator has in His Creation. He loves you and cares about you intensely - every hour of every day of every moment of your life.
The next time you are in pain, turn to Him first.
Seek His will and His face and ask Him what remedies He might have for you. Ask Him to direct you to the right resources, doctor, neighbor or friend who can assist you in whatever it is you are going through. Ask Him to be a part of your Healing process and bless and anoint all that you are going through.
But be sure to ask Him to wash away your pain and walk you through the process of Healing - emotional, mental and physical - and guide you to better pastures, a better life and peace and understanding within His realm.
And I promise you that He will hear you.
Don't look at pain as a curse, but as a light that directs you to the attention of a Loving Creator. God can and will bless you and help you get through your troubles. Look to Him first in all things and He will direct your paths.
Trust in God.