Yesterday, I went and got my H1N1 flu shot. Thankfully, lines aren't a problem at this point; I only had a total of about 20 minutes waiting, and that included the mandatory 15 minute wait time after getting the needle. I must have gone at a good time of day (a friend when the evening before and was there for about an hour in total). And, the actual shot didn't hurt. The pain came later.
By the time I went to bed last night, my arm was tender, sore, and stiff. It wasn't as painful as some people have said their arms have been. Never the less, it was still painful. I really don't like pain - but then I don't know too many people (if any one) who actually do like pain.
Pain is a part of our lives. It comes in many forms - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. No matter what kind of pain we experience, it hurts. In my walk with the Lord, I have experienced lots of pain as well. Sometimes it is from something negative I have said or done, sometimes it is what someone else has said or done, and other times it is because I need to go through a particular experience in order to grow. The pain might not be immediate; sometimes it is delayed, but it will surface at some point.
Without pain in our walk with the Lord, we wouldn't have growth. We learn from our mistakes (which can often be extremely painful), and we grow. Most times, these mistakes help us grow closer to God and strive to be more like Jesus. If we lived pain-free/mistake-free lives, I doubt there would be any growth and we would end up becoming stagnant or worse.
When we are facing pain, struggle, hardship, etc., it is important that we turn to the Lord and rely on Him to bring us through. We need to trust that He knows what He is doing and use these times to grow in our relationship and walk. Sometimes we need to learn more trust, sometimes we may need to learn how to depend on Him. And sometimes, we just might need to learn a particular lesson.
How do you deal with the painful and hurtful situations in your life? How have you grown, or what have you gained, as the result of those situations?