Recently, I got a hit on my ankle while playing soccer and this resulted in an ankle sprain. The pain was excruciating as you can imagine and it was hard to put weight or pressure it. The initial thoughts that swirled in my head was: What have I done wrong to deserve this? Perhaps this is God’s wrath, His punishment for something I had recently done, or failed to do. This thought pattern was immediately checked. I instead began to think, what is God saving me from by allowing me suffer this pain? What blessings will I reap as a result of this injury? The advantage of the pain is that it tells me not to use my ankle yet. That I should ice it, rest it and elevate it so that healing can take place. The pain I feel in my ankle is good because it dissuades me from damaging it more. It encourages me to cooperate in the healing process.

The apostle Paul talks about having a thorn in his flesh. You can imagine how painful it is to have a thorn continually stuck in your flesh. That thorn could be many things, it could be an ailment that caused Paul pain, it could be the fact that he was whipped so many times that his back was lacerated and he couldn’t stand straight.  The fact remains that whatever it was, it caused him pain. Paul infers that this pain was good. He said this pain caused him not to be proud due to the many revelations God gave to him.

Pain is there for a reason. It is there to temporary modify your behavior so that you do not do further damage to yourself. Pain is painful, no doubt but it does not always have to be bad. Pain can be for good. It’s no use condemning someone going through some sort of pain, be it physical or emotional . That pain can be working some good in their life. Just like my pain keeps me from further destroying my ankle, and Paul’s pain keeps him from destroying his soul due to pride, your pain can be a blessing in disguise. It could be keeping you from self inflicted destruction. The next time you feel pain, don’t ask, “What have I done wrong to deserve this, instead ask: “What good is this pain working for me?”.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh .. – 2 Corinthians 12:7