We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
- Romans 5:3-4
It is important to consider the pain of others, because pain will come into our lives. Maybe you would like to have a pain-free life. I hate to break this news, but that is not going to happen.
Personally, I try to avoid pain. If I get a headache, the first thing I do is look for the Tylenol, because I want that headache to go away. When I am in the dentist's chair and the drill goes into the wrong place, I make that known immediately, because I want the pain to stop. And when pain comes into our lives, we pretty much want to do the same thing. We want the pain to stop. But we can't control that. Pain will come into our lives. Suffering will come into our lives.
Many of us probably will even have tragedy. It is only a matter of time. Grandparents will die. Parents will die. Someone close to us may die unexpectedly. Someone we care about might get very sick. We might get very sick. Or something might happen that doesn't make sense. Pain will come. And you are not going to know why it is coming.
You can't stop pain from coming, but you can decide what you will do with the pain that comes in your direction. You can't get rid of it, but you can leverage it. Here is the operative principle: Don't waste your pain. I heard that statement for the first time from a couple whose child had died. We talked at length, and then they said to me, "Greg, we don't want to waste our pain."
That really stayed with me. I thought, Wow. What a great way to look at it. That is the right outlook to have, because we are going to suffer. So don't waste your pain.