From a physical standpoint, pain serves a very important function of protection. If it were not for pain, one would not know to withdraw from things too hot or too sharp. Diabetics, who are more prone to lose sensation, are also much more vulnerable to injury without notice that can ultimately result in amputations. It is a blessing to have pain receptors; and yet, pain is an intruder.
In perfect Eden, pain was unnecessary, but with the entrance of sin came pain. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children" Genesis 3:16. The word "sorrow", appearing twice, can correctly be translated "pain" as is found in many Bible translations. The NLT reads "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering." It is fascinating to find that throughout scripture, descriptions of terrible pain are likened to childbirth. Following are a few examples.
"Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail" Psalm 48:6.
In speaking of those awaiting the day of the Lord, Isaiah 13:8 states "And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth."
Again in Isaiah 26:17 we read "Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD."
The problem with pain is that it was never meant to be, not in childbirth or in any other setting. But in this sin-darkened planet pain is a part of everyone's life. It is hope that allows us to endure. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" Romans 8:22, 23.
So, if you are dealing with pain, whether physical or emotional, take heart and realize that "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" Matthew 24:13. We can look forward to Eden- like restoration where "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" Revelation 21:4. Praise the Lord!!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church.