Pain Does Not Have the Last Word

Pain does not have the last word.

I forgot to tell a special person this today. I  often forget to tell myself this as well.

Jesus on the cross cried out on the cross the words of psalm 21 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” At times, grief, loss, and pain  seem like they compound. A small pebble of loss starts rolling down a hill, and as it makes its way toward us it gathers more and more mass and speed until it feels like the weight of the world has landed flat dab on top of our head. There are times that disaster and loss strike us not as a consequence of our own doing, and we ask why me or why someone so close to us that their pain is literally ours.

Pain doesn’t have the last word.

When the boulder of life crashes, I try to remember two things. The first is to grab a hold of the center of my existence — the love of God — and hold on to it dearly. Much like the cartoon of someone holding onto a flagpole in a hurricane. Never relax your hold of that which is deepest, truest, most important in life. In centering prayer, we use a mantra to draw us back to the center. In times of sorrow, illness, and calamity fixate and concentrate on the love you have for the person who is suffering or on the love God has for you until the storm subsides. “Sit still, my soul: thou at least must not lose thy awareness of the presence of God.”

Pain does not have the last word.

Second, follow the admonition contained in Luke 14:10 – “Go and sit down at the lowest place.” I don’t mean hold a pity party, what I mean is when we are literally going through what seems to be hell on earth — forgive; humble yourself; be faithful to your friends, loved ones, and God; and continue to love. It is tempting to lash out at the cause of your suffering instead forgive, especially yourself. It is tempting to try step over and on others instead humble yourself – go to the lowest place. It is tempting to lash out at God and others, instead continue to love. God promises when we sit down at the lowest place, our host will come and say, “Friend move higher,” and you will be honored in the presence of all.

No matter how we deal, whether you follow these suggestions or develop your own ways to cope, the promise and the reality remains because Jesus went and sat down at the lowest place for us all to ensure:

Pain does not have the last word.

 

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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