How does one man’s pain create hope for another man?

Through the sufferings of Christ, we now have this unwavering faith that we are destined for good. Through His pain, we now believe that yes we can do all things by virtue of the strength we have in Him (Phil. 4:13). For this, I get it. I get it that He made a way. What I don’t get is how my pain can also serve another man.

The pain I experience each day builds up in my head, then slowly seeps down into my body, and when the sun goes to hide to make room for me to fall asleep with ease, I find that sleep too has hidden itself from me. I think! I desire! I crave! I pray! I hope! I…I……I………I’m not sure what to do next. How then can my pain serve me well and build hope for someone who hasn’t tasted of my sleepless nights and the weariness within me?

How can someone who knows almost nothing about me appreciate the reasons for which I’ve groaned? Maybe others need to go through my experiences to learn for themselves and be guided by their pain. But just as quickly as I wonder how my pain can be good after all, I’m reminded that I’ve built my life partly on the wisdom from the pain others have suffered and shared. I realise the order of things is cyclical – what goes round comes round. We learn from our pain – it guides us not to tread certain paths, and it shapes us to be sensitive to what things won’t work for us.

So then I see there’s a way my pain can make a difference for someone. We all cannot have the same experiences no matter how identical. But the lessons we learn through tragedy, loss, failure, disappointment, hurts, injuries, heartbreaks, embarrassments, and any experience that cause pain are both for us and those whom we open ourselves to. We learn so others can learn from us. We heal so others can see the aftermath of our experiences and learn to do better. By virtue of pain, we create a reaction to affect those who come after us to be better and wiser, informed and guided, governed and directed.

When you suffer pain, don’t let your world fall apart. Hold on and hold up. Others are waiting on you, so they see that they can make it out of their pain too. In the words of Marianne Williamson, “…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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