Earlier this week I had an impromptu conversation with a coworker of mine (we will call Ron) that made my spirit search for clarity from the Holy Spirit. We are of a similar age where a body can begin to hurt for no apparent reason. Go to bed, no pain. Wake up, pain. Ron recalled a statement his grandfather used to say, “As long as I feel pain, I know I’m alive. If I stop feeling pain, that’s when I’m in trouble. I’m dead.” Does that strike you as odd? I felt spiritual restraint against rebuttal and kept listening to see if he would offer any explanation for such a curious philosophy on pain. Let’s talk about that…
Ron went on to say that his grandfather was in WWII. He stormed the beaches at Normandy and fought the Battle of the Bulge with Patton and lost count of how many of the enemy he dispatched. Ron’s recollections transported my mind to the horrors of hand to hand combat, near starvation, survival, kill or be killed, and all the unfathomable gory glory of war. His grandfather was shot in the Battle of the Bulge. When he and the 18 remaining G.I.’s in their battalion made it back to Patton, he cauterized the wound and marched them right back to battle where Ron’s grandfather was shot 9 times by a machine gun nest. So, Patton gave him light duty guarding prisoners on a transport ship from France to England on crutches till he was well enough to march back again. Pain was the only thing that let him know this was not a nightmare, but a living reality.
Ron does not indicate any evidence, by conversation or testimony, that he knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. I believe he’s lost. Pain is his indicator of being alive. He does not know the promise that Christ came to give us life, and that we [sic] might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). The pain of life is not our evidence of living, but, rather the peace which passes all understanding. It is not hurt which gives us relief that we are still breathing, but it is healing which quickens us unto refreshment of heart. Our assurance, the blessed hope (Titus 2:13), the divine love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5) endows the comfort that any pain we might experience in this life is temporary and not what life is about. Being alive here is only the rehearsal for life eternal where God shall wipe away all tears from our [sic] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more PAIN: for the former things are passed away (Rev 21:4). Ron doesn’t know about that, but, if the Lord will give me courage, opportunity and discernment, I will walk the tightrope of workplace witnessing and let him know that there is something more than pain that let’s us know we are alive.
Jesus Christ, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2), felt pain, the utmost, ultimate pain, on the cross to take away our pain. To give us life. His death gave us the opportunity to experience being truly alive.
God Bless You,