This morning, January 29th, in the hospital OR a nice nurse put a mask over my nose and mouth and told me to take some deep breaths. I remember doing what she said and thinking this is not helping me go to sleep. I also remember the constant but bearable pain in the left side of my neck. Next I remember another nurse asking how I was feeling and the pain in my neck becoming more powerful by the second. Apparently, the nice, smiling anesthesiologist had done his job well.
Next in my thought process was why I was hurting so badly. Had I done something wrong? Another door in my mind suddenly opened and I remembered that while I was out, the nice, smiling surgeon had just inserted some tubes down my throat and cut out several pieces of the tumor on my lower tongue in order to do a biopsy. I then put these two pieces of information together to arrive at why I was now in more pain.
So, yes, I hurt more, but, no, I didn’t directly do anything to bring more pain into my life. It occurred to me that this was an important life lesson. ( I know, strange thoughts to be having in a recovery room, while another nice nurse was also telling me to breath more deeply.)
There are times of course that what I do does result in immediate pain, like when I touch a hot iron or say something hurtful. But there are many times in life when we make too tight a connection between painful things and ours or others immediate actions. When man fell, sin made things more painful. We can know severe pain simply because we are fallen humans. While you and I do have an immediate connection to the fall, we also live in a world where millions upon millions of interpersonal sins and rebellion to God have brought about much pain that is not directly connected to us.
In other words it is not always helpful to ask, “what did I or someone close to me do to bring about so much pain?” Sometimes, not all of the time, but sometimes we just have to remember that because of sin, life stinks and it hurts.
The neat part is that regardless of the answer, Jesus is able take away the sting of the pain of this world. He loves me, what can man to do me.