No Pain, No Gain

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This is a popular quote in the gym.  Working out the muscles till there is some pain is good and strengthens the body.  A variation of the quote is that “There are no pains without gains.” Pain is a teacher that nobody wants, but everyone remembers.

Life can be a major pain at times, I am sure you would agree.  I have a close friend of mine that recently had a health set-back.  He thought he was having a heart attack.  He was in and out of the hospital over a period of a few months and had every test known to man done to him.  In the end, he had nothing wrong.  He just needed to slow down his pace.  He had to learn to rest.

He marveled at how much he learned about himself and used the down time to get closer to God.  Sometimes when we have the rug pulled out from us, the only place we can look is up.

Whatever you might be facing right now….whatever the pain is….whether it is financial, heath, or relational…there is a gain from the pain.  You may be stretched to the limits of your physical and emotional being, but that can be a good thing if you grow, if you are strengthened from it…and you give to others as a result.

One of the positive things about pain for me is that I write a lot.  That creative energy just flows when I am under pressure.  I am not sure why that is, and sometimes I wish life was not such a pain.  But then I get an email from someone around the world that has been touched by my writing.  They have been inspired to live another day…to endure…to keep the faith…to hold on to hope.  That makes it all worthwhile for me.

Everyone has some pain in their lives.  It is the pain of life that helps us truly experience the joy of life.  Strange how one can lead to the other.  They are seemingly opposites, and yet they are intrinsically tied together.

Whatever pain you are facing today, my hope is that you find the gain.  It is there to be had if you will endure….keep the faith…hang on to your hope…and live completely in the moment.  Your pain may be for the gain of someone you do not even know personally.  How you respond to your pain will determine your gain.

I think that sometimes we are allowed to go through the fire for a couple of reasons.  First, it makes us personally stronger.  Second, it helps us to have empathy for others who are going through the same thing.  Think about it…if you have been broke before, you can truly feel for someone who is broke.  If you have been through a divorce, you know the depth of pain they are going through. If you lost a loved one, you know the sadness they are enduring.

I remember going through a terrible time in my life, and I thought I had nothing left to live for.  I was at the point of just trying to figure out how to end it all.  Fortunately, I had some people that were invested in me to pour out love, encouragement…and hope to me.  They helped me put things in perspective and to keep my faith.  I was hanging by a thread…but they tied the knot at the end to help me hold on.  The good news is that I ended up not only better for it…but also have an incredible tenderness towards anyone in the same boat that I had been in.

You can choose to become bitter….or you can choose to become better.  You can choose to be a victim…or you can choose to be a victor.  I hope the gain you receive blesses not just you, but all those you touch today.  The pains we have for the moment can be gains we have for a lifetime.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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