Spiritual pain is nothing to be afraid of, yet I suspect you may remain unconvinced, and you even doubt my credibility. God has revealed something precious in my pain. It’s his will that I share it; that the Lord might speak through me to you. Bear with me patiently. It may seem that I’m saying bizarre things. Or perhaps you might already know much more mystical things regarding how God’s Spirit heals on the hop.
Here are nine ways to make the pain in your loss and grief of real lasting value:
1. Firstly, I desperately want to add the word “now” in the above sentence... “of real lasting value now.” It’s possible. I’m not saying that if you find it impossible there’s something wrong with you. I could never say that. But it is possible that God might show you how your pain might be of real lasting value now.
2. Believe with all you have in you, through your faith in a compassionate God, that somehow the experience of this horrendous pain will be the making of you. Believe and it will ultimately be so.
3. See all pain as a learning opportunity. The school of hard knocks is one of the best colleges we could ever enrol in, though none of us would even look at the prospectus let alone dare go to Orientation Day.
4. Don’t try and anesthetise the pain; alcohol, other drugs, food, retail therapy, and every other thing apart from feeling our pain is a distraction and a delaying of our healing.
5. Enjoy fleeting moments of hilarity. Invest in your sense of humour. It will get you through your darkest days. But never laugh at the expense of someone else. Laugh in good nature. Laugh at the senselessness of the anguish you experience if you can. Even better to keep your laughter private, alone or with a friend.
6. Know that whatever is endured in this life is a source of strengthening; that what is endured in this life is a treasure invested in heaven.
7. Because pain is so challenging to endure — and because of its rollercoaster nature — be aware that you may also embrace other change with more capacity. Pain is like an amplifier; it makes us more diversely capable if we are determined to hope for a future beyond it.
8. The person we miss so terribly is missed so terribly because we loved them so very much. We can take comfort that we cannot do any better than be faithful to their memory in grieving our loss.
9. Devour the Word of God and enter prayerfully into communion with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring you into contact with people, situations, and Words of encouragement. We can deal with a truck load of despair if we have even a vapour of hope.
All of what I’ve discussed above I’ve experienced personally, which is why I can write about it with credibility. Not that any of it is to my credit. It’s just worth explaining every now and then so perceptions of doubt don’t become a barrier to God working in others’ lives.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.