The P.A.I.N.

“O foolish men and slow of heart to believe, was it not necessary for Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory…He explained to them the things concerning Himself in the Scriptures.” Luke 18: 25-27
One of the first learning curves children must experience is the pain associated with foolish behavior. Foolish choices bring painful consequences. The earlier children learn this truth, the wiser they will be, and the sooner the better. 
Pain is not always terminal. It can be remedial. Falling down and bumping a chin, skinning a knee or losing one’s breath is painful, but not a death sentence. 
My wife, Dana taught me the wisdom of picking up our little girls when they fell, and cheering. She made a painful experience a Great Adventure. She would quickly dust our girls off, and set them on their way to play without turning every tiny trauma into a huge drama. This resulted in A LOT of cheering and two strong and confident daughters who know how to bounce back up when knocked down by adversity. Thank you, Dana. 
The older I get the more likely I am to cry out in pain, but the reasons for it are quite different than when I was a child. Watching the contemporary church willingly give up the moral high ground without a fight brings excruciating pain to my heart. Observing the citizens of my nation substituting the promises of politicians for the promises of God, pains me in the depths of my soul. I hurt in places I didn’t know I had when I was a child.  Pain reminds me the consequences of disobedience still matter to God, and the cry of my prayers are still heard by The Father.
“Pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis
When Jesus died on the cross, and was buried in the tomb, His death appeared terminal, not remedial. Those who loved Him the most wondered with good reason, “What possible good could come out of His horrible execution?” When The Risen Christ shared with two disheartened disciples on the road to Emmaus, He gave them a new perspective on pain. The pain He had endured, and they had witnessed took on a new meaning when Jesus placed His pain under the shining light of God’s Word. The wise will always seek God’s Word for His perspective on pain.
“Pain is necessary to make an adjustment.” Bill Elliff
P.A.I.N. can be remedial if I Perceive Affliction Is Necessary.  There is always a cost to obeying God’s Word.  Praying through a crisis doesn’t exempt you from going through pain. Prayer becomes a regular, and necessary pit stop, on any painful journey.
“When you find yourself going through hell. Keep moving.” Winston Churchill
It is not enough to know that Jesus experienced pain and suffering.  The Son learned obedience from it.  He went through pain and suffering, by praying in it. 
There is great joy in the journey, for you who travel down a long road of obedience with Jesus, but mark this down. Along with His Presence, you will share His suffering and His pain.  
“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”  Hebrews 5:7-8
Experiencing pain does not always lead to wisdom.  People, churches, and nations who refuse to learn from self-inflicted pain or Divine Judgment, will experience a great deal more of both. Obedience, not lenience is God’s remedy for foolishness. Apply it liberally to your pain. 
When pain is a result of my foolishness, God has a remedy. His remedial judgment can change my behavior. When it is a result of someone else’s action, I can learn from it. If I can’t stop them, I can at least stiff-arm them. Keeping trouble at arms length is better than having no boundaries at all.  
“There is no education in the second kick of a mule.” David Lane
Continuing to make the same foolish choices only to be kicked in the face by the inevitable consequences for my disobedience to God does not produce wisdom. It is a form of insanity to try and walk in one direction when God is calling me to walk in another. When it comes to unnecessary pain, the first step towards God’s remedy is to stop the madness, turn around and obey God.
“Remedial judgment seeks a remedy.” Richard Owen Roberts
NOTE TO SELF: Jesus suffered painful affliction, and learned from it without resenting it. Two things come to mind. (1) Don’t be surprised by pain. (2) Learn the right lesson from it. Jesus was a man of piety, and prayerfulness, but it did not make Him immune from painful affliction. It would be foolish to think that you can be pious enough to hide from pain for the rest of your life. There are times God allows pain to bring about an adjustment in your behavior. Obedience is still the best remedy and it turns your P.A.I.N. into gain. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!