I read an interesting article by Philip Yancey today talking about pain. In summary, Philip suggests that pain can either turn us away from God or turn us toward God. I think that is a true statement. None of us like pain and we may even ask why there is so much of it in life. As Christians, we can blame it all on the "Fall" (Adam and Eve), but that doesn't offer much help or seem relevant for our pain today. We still would like to know why God continues to allow such pain and suffering.
First, I believe that it was all a part of God's plan. In my case, God used the pain to draw me closer to Him. Nothing around me seemed to matter when I found out I had cancer. At first, I didn't want to see anyone; but I sure did talk to God. I'm not sure I was all that pleasant either; but I knew He would listen and not interrupt. God did eventually lead me to what I should do; but not until I had vented all my anger and frustrations.
Secondly, I believe it is because He loves us so much. What, you say? Hear me out. If you love someone, you want the best for them. God wants the best for us. The best is what He has planned for us. It is what we were created for. Sometimes, we need a wake up call to discover what that is. I know I did. I can't say that I have arrived or that I've got it all figured out. But I can say that I am a whole lot more at peace with myself and my life.
Thirdly, I believe it is to prepare us for the future events that will surely come as the Word of God tells us. There is coming a time of great tribulation that will make it extremely difficult for believers of Christ to exist. Perhaps, we will not be here, because we will be taken away in the rapture. I don't know, Bible scholars can't even agree. But I do know, this is a time to put oil in our lamps, in other words to build relationship with our creator, God, so that we will be ready for whatever happens in the future.
So, even though we do not want to embrace pain, we need to look at it from different perspective and see what is in it for us.