There are so many people I come across who are stuck in life because they are afraid to deal with pain from the losses they have encountered. Though pain is definitely something we would all rather not have to deal with, we must if we expect to heal and to move forward in life.
Many do not believe that pain is something they can face and they underestimate their ability to handle it. In reality sadness, grief and sorrow are God given primary emotions that were meant to be productive and serve a purpose in our lives. They are meant to bring us somewhere; they are part of the expected end we are promised in Jeremiah 29:11.
It matters what we think and believe about pain, sadness, and grieving. In our society, many believe crying is a sign of weakness. We’ve been lied to and told only children cry or that it means we’re weak and can’t handle our emotions. The messages we receive are toxic so people refuse to openly acknowledge pain for fear of what someone else will think of them.
The most natural reaction when we experience the loss something precious is to allow the expression of emotion. Whether its the loss of a loved one due to death, divorce, not having a nurturing caring parent or loss of innocence due to childhood sexual abuse.
But so many try to hide their pain, they deny its existence, or numb the pain with medication, drugs, and alcohol. We try to fill our lives with busyness, anything, just so we don’t have to feel something uncomfortable. Trying to ignore it or make the pain go away will not solve the problem. Pain has a way of occupying a place in our heart and mind and lingers as unfinished business. It does not just go away but will find an expression into our lives in other ways until it is dealt with. Avoiding grief can lead to other issues like increased anger and irritability. It can cause severe depression and lead to a fear of intimacy; it can even be the cause of panic attacks.
In order to move forward, pain must be acknowledged. Not everyone has a trusted friend to turn to who can help walk through hard times but we can be assured that the Lord will be near. When Jesus taught the multitudes he said, “Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.” (Mathew 5:4).
To be blessed is to be happy, fortunate, well off. We mourn by grieving emotionally and giving voice to our pain and sorrow; crying out, sobbing and by letting the tears fall.
The Greek word for comforted is parakaleo, which means to call to one’s side. The same root word parakletos is used for the Holy Spirit who is the comforter.
So if we read the above verse literally it would be something like this: Happy, fortunate & well off are those who give voice to their pain and sorrow for they shall call near to their side the Spirit of God, the Comforter.
God does not say he will take away the pain but that you can count on Him to be right there with us comforting us in the midst of it. This is something you can’t get from any amount of medication, nor drug or alcohol. We can face our pain so much easier when we know someone will be there with us walking through it with us.
In refusing to mourn we miss out on the opportunity to experience our Creator and know Him in such a profoundly personal way.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 says Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. In other words, the only way through to the other side of pain and sorrow is to actually feel it. There simply is no shortcut around it but at the end of that journey our heart will be in a better place.
If we will allow it, there is a blessing in sorrowing that we can only know when we choose to face it.