The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

Analysis & Response 87 The Blessing of Pain Gregg Mendel Coming across friends is hard when someone lives in the country.That’s why I valuedmy friendNate somuch. He was the only kid I liked, or liked me, for miles around (in fact, he was the only kid for miles around). Nate and I grew to be very strong friends, and our relationship seemed as good and normal as a relationship could be, till the last winter before I left for college. Nate starting acting a little strange, like hiding from his parents and other people at random times, or zoning out in the middle of a conversation, but I didn’t think that much about it. Until he tried to commit suicide. I learned that Nate had developed depression and slight schizophrenia. He was immediately taken away from his family and put in a psych ward, and even after he got better, authorities kept him away from his parents for almost a year. The aching and loneliness I, Nate, and his family experienced was terrible. But one of the worst parts of this trial was wondering why God, who always wants the best for us, allowed us to go through this pain. The problem of pain has always bothered Christians. For non-believers, pain is just something that everyone has to deal with and can’t do anything about; it’s just part of nature. But Christians see pain differently. God loves and cares for mankind more than we could ever imagine, but He also allows us to experience pain. C.S. Lewis’s aptly named book The Problem of Pain talks about this conundrum (89-109). When most people would think of pain as a curse, Lewis sees it as a necessity, and I couldn’t agree with him more. But I think I must take it one step further. Pain is not only a necessity but also a blessing, because it warns us, corrects us, guides us, and brings us to Jesus. Pain can be a blessing in many different ways, and the first is as a warning system. When a person stubs his or her toe, it obviously does not feel good. This is because God designed the body so it could experience pain. But hundreds of people in hospitals and emergency rooms around the world ask themselves, “wouldn’t life