Necessary Pain

I am convinced that pain is necessary. If the word “necessary” causes you to put up a wall and stop paying attention, I’ll soften my vocabulary and say that pain is purposeful. (But I really mean necessary.)

At first pass, the concept of “necessary pain” doesn’t make much sense. To most of us our troubles seem at best unnecessary and at worst the cruel work of an uncaring God. Pain causes us to wrestle with the basics of God’s character. If God cares, if He’s good, why doesn’t He remove our pain? Perhaps He doesn’t care; perhaps He isn’t good; perhaps He has no power over pain. Or, perhaps God has His reasons for allowing pain, even horrific pain, to invade our lives.

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Stopped Short by Patience

In 2010, Dorothy Walker movingly wrote about her struggle with patience. Her poem, “Stopped Short,” will tug at your heart and bring Galatians 5:22 to life. She introduces her poem with these words:

Patience means standing under pressure, staying present, not running away. But I – often desperate to stop pain – try to get out from under my trial. I have difficulty with patience. Sometimes when I read the Word, the Holy Spirit suddenly intrudes and makes a word or phrase come alive. I stop short. I read it again. The message seems so personal, as if spoken directly to me. And so it is. Stopped Short describes my encounter with the Spirit when He made the word patience come alive.

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