Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feeling the pain

I'm not writing another entry about the Army, I will put that on hold first and try to deal with something I wanted to share.

I have been open to the fact that my mother died of cancer. I have often written about being beside her while she screamed in pain and just hearing her prayers. That experience formed the foundation on my belief that God does give us rest even in painful situations. The pain may not subside but there is this inner peace that God brings when we call upon him amidst painful situations.

About a few days ago, I found a few friends in friendster that have been in similar situations. Just as always, I am amazed how they find comfort knowing that God will be there to take care of them despite their condition. I am not happy because of their condition, but I am happy that because of their condition, they experience God working in their lives day after day, how many of us can really say that.
In a book I read a few years ago, it basically answered the question "Where is God when it hurts?" The author used the example of leprosy to make his point. In the early days, when medical science wasn't that advanced, many people thought that leprosy was the disease of the unclean. They described it as a condition for people who are literally decomposing even when they are still alive. Now, modern science has learned that leprosy is actually a defect in our body's reaction to pain. Experts have learned that reason the body "decomposes" is that our body can no longer feel pain thus, it is abused and then degenerates. In one example, there was a man who played his guitar so hard that his hands began to bleed. Because he had leprosy, he is unaware of the pain and so he continues to abuse his hand until finally the hand comes off with him still unable to feel the pain. That is the same reason why rats can just tear off a tissue on those with leprosy without them feeling pain. Leprosy is in fact a condition very similar to the pain we experience in our day to day life.

In an article in Newsweek recently, Sam Harris, a noted atheist, had a dialogue with Rick Warren, author of the phenomenal Purpose-Driven Life, about faith. I may be biased, but the thing that struck me was how Mr. Harris has pointed out various "painful" events that has led him to the conclusion that God really does not exist. I do not wish to debate on whose argument is better but I am just trying to point out how painful situations can in fact be blessings from God.

I, too, do not want to feel pain. I guess everybody does. All of us would want to live life without feeling and discomfort. That is the best way for us to succeed at the things that we do and be happy with our life. But just like pain when we cut ourselves, it reminds us that we are not invincible, that we are mortals. Pain reminds us that despite of all the things that we can do, there is still something more powerful than us and for me that being is God. If we are unable to fell pain, we will become proud of who we are and forget about other people. The acceptance that we can not do everything in this world is the beginning of wisdom and it is the foundation of faith... sometimes, it takes pain to trigger that.

We do not want to experience pain, but when you come to think of it pain does wonders. If we try to just think about the painful situations we have been into and think about how this events has changed our lives, you'll see what I mean. As for me, I am not wishing for pain, but I am believing that when I do experience pain, God is teaching me something and He will be there to guide me through it....

God Bless you people

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