Pain is part of our body’s alert system – letting us know when we’ve moved outside of our comfort zone. We don’t like being hurt, and avoiding these situations helps to keep us safe. But, at other times, the fear of pain keeps us stuck and we must learn to courageously endure to the other side of hurt.
For instance, working out and even stretching can be painful, particularly if we’ve not used these muscles in a while. But we would never gain our strength if we backed off the moment things started to hurt. The path of growth is accepting this initial pain to discover the physical benefits we desire on the other side. Of course, wisdom is needed and we don’t want to injure ourselves. But we shouldn’t be surprised when moving out of our comfort zone causes us to hurt a bit.
And this is true throughout our life and relationships as well.
For instance, learning a new skill will require us to endure the initial pain of our ignorance. And, to be fair, we might discover some things are simply not for us in the long run. But even here we must get to the other side of hurt to make a truly informed decision. We’re just letting the discomfort of the moment take us out otherwise.
Likewise, it’s tempting to avoid the hard conversations needed in our marriage or with our friends. By definition, these are not comfortable or easy. All the same, we miss the deeper connection and peace available when we don’t tolerate the pain necessary for growth.
To be sure, there’s wisdom in listening to our pain and being kind to ourselves. We don’t want to ignore our moments of agony and risk causing deeper wounds. But with much wisdom and courage we must also learn to endure to the other side – finding the fullness of life God has for us.
In the end, acknowledge your pain, but don’t let it stop you. Endure to the other side to unlock the goodness and joy you desire.