Pain with a Purpose

By: Anonymous; ©2012
The following brief article was written by the son of a good friend, both father and son are Navy SEALs. We have put this online in the hopes it will be an encouragement to those undergoing suffering or trials of various types. Despite his paraplegia (to say the least, difficult for a Navy SEAL), he has maintained a wonderful testimony for Jesus Christ among those who come to see him and work with him. (He prefers to remain anonymous, but appropriately, his name means “beloved” in Hebrew). Since first writing this, many additional good things have happened. His words remind us that we have but one life in all eternity with which to glorify God in the midst of suffering and adversity, and that we should take advantage of such a privilege, conforming ourselves to the image of Christ, trusting not in appearances or experience, but in God’s infinite wisdom and goodness.)[1]
The following brief article was written by the son of a good friend, both father and son are Navy SEALs. We have put this online in the hopes it will be an encouragement to those undergoing suffering or trials of various types. Despite his paraplegia (to say the least, difficult for a Navy SEAL), he has maintained a wonderful testimony for Jesus Christ among those who come to see him and work with him. (He prefers to remain anonymous, but appropriately, his name means “beloved” in Hebrew). Since first writing this, many additional good things have happened. His words remind us that we have but one life in all eternity with which to glorify God in the midst of suffering and adversity, and that we should take advantage of such a privilege, conforming ourselves to the image of Christ, trusting not in appearances or experience, but in God’s infinite wisdom and goodness.)[1]

As soon as I realized my parachute was going to slam me into the ground from 100 feet in the air, it was too late. I bounced off the ground and rolled to a dusty stop. But an amazing thing happened. Immediately after assessing the damage and realizing I was paralyzed from the waist down, I felt the peace of God come over me.

I have to admit, I had no idea of the battle that God had in store for me.

After the life flight to the hospital, my ten-hour surgery,[2] ten days without food or water, and countless stabs from IV needles is when my combat really began. I started to feel an aching in my entire lower body. In a few hours the aching became unbearable. In the middle of the night, with my father standing beside my bed watching me scream and crying out for relief, my thoughts began to betray me.

Rather than trusting in God, I started to yearn for relief – relief at any cost. There were moments when I hoped the nurses would accidentally give me too much pain medicine — I wanted to die. I was suffering from something called neuropathic pain. This is what happens when the signals from the nerves to the brain are damaged. The outcome can be excruciating pain. Because of my military background, I had been trained to suppress pain. But this new pain was something I couldn’t handle on my own.

I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since I was very young. But I wrestled back and forth with God during my times of pain. I thought “how could God do this to me?” I prayed over and over again that God would just save me from my torment. And of course, He did. I continue to suffer from nerve pains; but God keeps reminding me that it is a good thing. His word says that good comes from ALL things to those who love God [Romans 8: 28], even if that “thing” is crippling pain. (After all, look at the eternal good that God accomplished through the unbearable pain of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross – John 3:16 – how can we assume He won’t do the same for each of us, regardless of our pain or circumstances?).

Knowing that God has a good purpose in my pain has been — and is my relief. I don’t know what the purpose is all the time, but I have already seen some of the good resulting from breaking my back in a skydiving accident. Within days of hitting the dusty ground at Monsoor Field, I heard news that people I never thought would pray, were now praying for me. And since my accident, more people than I have ever known are putting me on their daily prayer lists. (If God is reaching that far out from this one event, imagine what future good He has in store for me, and the good He is bringing about behind the scenes.)

In the military, some of the pain I endured was for the good of the mission. It is possible to bear something that seems unbearable if it is for a good purpose. What greater purpose could there be than to bear any suffering to fulfill His perfect plan? I still deal with nerve pain on a daily basis, along with being a paraplegic. Some days the pain is just as severe as those first nights in the hospital, but it has never been as hard to endure because pain with God’s purpose is good.

Knowing that my pain will somehow bring God glory (an astonishing privilege) is the only medicine that really cured my pain.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Minor editorial changes were made and slight approved literary license utilized to better explain a few thoughts.
  2. He suffered a burst or “explosion” at fracture L-1; surgery fused from T-10 to L-4; L1 is now removed. Technically, it is classified as an injury at T-11, however based on function he is doing things below T-11. He has very slight movements in certain leg muscles and once move a leg 1/4 inch!

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