Profiting From Our Pain

We cannot effectively lead others, or be worthy role models, if we do not profit from the inevitable pain that swarms down on our lives, often stinging us like a horde of deadly bees.

We all go through massive pain in our lives, and anyone who enjoys it is crazy.  But this piece is not about being warm and fuzzy with the most uncomfortable and sometimes tragic points of our lives. It is about realizing great pain, in the form of detrimental disability, illness, loss, failure, and rejection, is given to us by life (God) to do great things on this earth.

The lives of Hilary Swank (left) and Nick Vujicc (right) are great examples of blessed pain. Hilary Swank greatly profited from her experience growing up in a trailer park, being homeless and living in a car with her mother, and suffering in school from feelings of being an outsider who did not belong. She used these pains to propel her to become a  great actress, so accomplished in her craft that she is sought after by many in Hollywood and beyond. A similar pain to glory story comes from Nick Vujicc, a Serbian Australian, who was born with no limbs. As a child, the law prevented him from attending school  due to his disability. He was bullied, and even tried drowning himself at the age of 10. Today he is a world-renowned motivational speaker, bringing a message of hope and finding the meaning of life.

As a result of a stroke, I am doing what I have always loved but did not have the courage to do; that is writing, inspiring others to awaken the healer in themselves, and serving leaders who serve others. In addition, I tragically experienced a terminally ill young lady in my church, whose words near the end of her life, became a motivating force for my life; she said ‘don’t be inspired by my situation and my courageous walk with God, change yourself.’  If she were not in the position she was, I would not have profited from that message.  Perhaps equally important, I don’t know how many others, like me, will forever take her message forward.

Pain is like a loud-speaker, projecting a critical message for us and the world to hear. We all can say our pain and the pain of others blasted its way through a loud-speaker into our focus of attention. However, who can say, they saw and walked through the  doorway of opportunity provided by that pain.

It’s not easy to see any good in our pain and sometimes it may take years before we see the gift. However, when we get the link to our purpose on this earth, many of us have a boat load of questions about the  value of that  pain. We can only find answers when we look, open our minds, and act upon the good we see.  Then and only then will we profit from the pain.

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