Pain is everywhere in the world. People hurt each other with actions, attitudes, and words. Just this week someone said something to me that hurt me very deeply. What are we supposed to do with the pain?
We are not supposed to hurt others with our pain, but this is what we often do. “Hurt people hurt people,” so runs the oft repeated phrase. Most often we take pain and pass it on to others – and hurt them. Sometimes we yell and say hurtful things. Sometimes we pout and are silent or passive aggressive, expecting people to read our minds and know our inner problems. Sometimes we gossip and make the problem worse. Unfortunately, I can say that I have done all of these things. When I am hurt I can hurt others and feel totally justified. Rarely do we follow Jesus words in Matt 18:15 – go privately and point out the offense to the person who hurt you. This is the harder way, but the healthier way.
The first thing we need to do is pray. Ideally we would be able to go to those who have hurt us, share how they have hurt us (not attacking them), and they would apologize. Before we meet with the person, though, we need to be in prayer. We need to bring our raw emotions to the Lord, not to each other, and let Him give us guidance before we talk to others. This is the best way. Sometimes, though, it is not possible – sometimes the person won’t listen or won’t apologize, sometimes the person won’t meet, sometimes the person winds up hurting you or blaming you instead of apologizing you. We need to pray more.
Our pain is not meant to be bottled up – it will come out eventually. It has to be passed on. We can pass on our pain to Jesus. Isaiah 53:4 says, “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.” Jesus carries our sorrows and pain. His death carries not only our sin, but our sorrows as well. The Bible says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus is strong enough to carry our pain. Will we be wise enough to pass it on to Him?
We are not meant to carry our pain – it will only come out of us and hurt others. Our pain has to be passed on. There are wars and hurt and pain in the world because people keep passing their pain on to each other. Jesus came to end the cycle of hurt and revenge – He stands in the middle of the pain and hurt of the world and is crucified. He bears our pain. We need to pass on our pain to Him, who understand our sorrows. He will take our burden of pain so we can forgive others – even those who don’t think they need to be forgiven – so that we will not carry the burden of pain or pass it on to others.
We will have pain in this world, but Jesus has overcome this world and the cycle of pain (John 16:33). Pray. Pray. Pray in your pain. And pass on your pain to Jesus – the Healer and Life of the world.