I have just finished another round of PT. While I did get my range of motion back to where it was before, I didn’t make any further progress; and, as usual, other areas of pain are flared up as a result of the rigors of PT. As I left the gym this morning, the thought occurred to me that pain is my constant companion. I don’t hate or lament it as I used to, it is just always there.
As soon as that thought crossed my mind, another came close behind it: I have another Constant Companion, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. These two are always with me: At work, at the gym, in the car, in sleep, on waking, and on and on. Neither of them ever leaves me, and that will be true for both until the day that I leave the one behind and run (or possibly skip) into the arms of the other.
So, what is the significance of this? Though they are both with me always, that is absolutely the only thing they have in common. Everything else is a contrast. So, I thought today that I would list out the many ways that my Savior and my pain are different. Though that may seem like a silly exercise, indulge me and you may find, as I did, that it is actually quite encouraging.
Pain wants to drive me away from God. Jesus draws me near. Matt 11:28
Pain wants to make me weary. Jesus gives me new strength. Is 40:28-31
Pain says, “You can’t.” Jesus says, “With me, you can.” Phil 4:13
Pain tries to make me afraid of the future. Jesus holds the future in His hands, and says that it is good. Jer29:ll
Pain tries to make me doubt the goodness of God. Jesus assures me that all things are for my good. Romans 8:28
Pain is temporarily relentless. Jesus is beautifully eternal. Revelation 1:17-18
Pain is ever changing. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Heb 8:13
Pain insists on having my attention, and makes demands to be treated and managed. Jesus is attentive to me, and provides all He deems needful for my comfort. Philippians 4:19
Pain wants me to look back on what used to be. Jesus lifts my head to see all that is yet to be. Psalm 3:3
Pain says, “How will you do this for the rest of your life?” Jesus says, “Follow me, one day, one hour, one moment at a time.” Matt. 6:33-34
“Pain says, if Jesus loved you, you would not suffer.” Jesus says, “Your suffering is a gift, to draw you to myself and give you opportunities to bring glory to My Name.” 2 Cor 1:4
Are you suffering today, friend? Maybe you can come up with more of these contrasts between pain and your savior. When I first thought of writing these out, it seemed a strange thing to contrast Christ and pain, but after doing it, I have even more of a sense of the love of Christ in my pain. Even better, I see how these two companions work together to keep my feet on that narrow way: One tempting me to wander, the other leading me back onto the path.
It is amazing how God uses our pain to work in our hearts. I would love to read some of the contrasts that you come up with, out of your own experience with these two constant companions. I hope you’ll think on this, and comment below. Bonus points if you have Scripture to back it up!