Many of us know from the book Sanction by Roman McClay that “pain demands a response.” The bible touches on physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and gives us solutions to all of them. As men, many of us tend to mask or hide the pain, dealing with it in our own ways. This sometimes leads to a solution, but more often than not we are lying to ourselves and the issue never gets resolved; but we’re tough right? We are men, right? We can handle it and suck it up, we are after all the rock on which the family is built.
Job 14:22 says that “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” Physical pain has a weird effect on us. A broken bone or a laceration something that heals quickly isn’t usually too big of a deal for us handle. Chronic pain on the other hand has a negative effect on us. Physical pain can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and isolation. This is something that isn’t thought about often, especially by the healthy. Why does God allow pain? This is a question I see all too often, to put simply we live in a fallen world, but more on that later. God often uses pain and a bad situation to build and strengthen us. Psalms 41:3a “The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing:”
1 Peter 4: 12-13 “Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that , which his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
I had an emotional pain over the weekend. Friday, after the pumpkin patch field trip with my daughter, I realized that she could barely fit into her car seat with her coat on. Even with the belts of her 5-point harness fully loosened, it was a tight fit getting her buckled in. Well, my little girl is no longer little. I jumped on Amazon and picked out a high rated and reviewed booster seat and as soon as I hit the checkout button, tears came. Weird right? It suddenly dawned on me that my little girl was not my little girl any longer. Let me tell you a little bit of the back story with me and fatherhood. My wife is not my first wife. My first wife and I divorced 15 years ago, partially over the doctor telling me I was infertile, well mostly, she left me for a man that could give her children. My next relationship was protection free for the whole 7 years, no kids.
Enter my next wife; within a year of when we started sleeping together, she was pregnant. Proof of God has a plan better than ours, right? At the first ultra-sound, when I heard that heartbeat, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum; I began to weep. The joy, and love that flooded me is beyond comparison. The magnitude of being a father didn’t really hit me, until I heard that heartbeat. Needless to say, my daughter is my world. So, for her to not be my baby-girl, struck me as hard. Knowing that one day I’ll wake up and she won’t be here anymore.
Men are not supposed to cry, we are not supposed to show this emotion, we are supposed to put on a hard face and not let the world see the pain. This leads to depression and ultimately suicide. 80% of the suicides in western society is men. 70% of those between the ages of 40 and 55 years old. In the middle of our lives, we are succumbing to our darkness and we’re giving up. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in men, and stress plays a huge part in the factors leading to it.
This article this week is a plea to men everywhere. A plea to open your eyes and see that this world is against us, society is against us, and the status quo is killing us. Remember what Christ said, John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We need to learn to lay bare our burdens and find ways of distressing. I like to open a book, often the bible, and here lately Sanction II, I light a pipe and just get away from the world for a moment. Men find a release and take a time out. Try talking to God, he’s a great listener. If you learn to listen to Him, he’s a great talker as well.