Two weeks ago I got one of those calls you never like to receive. On the other end of the line was my son, devastated from the news of what a MRI revealed: two labrum tears , surgery, and football training camp coming to screeching halt.
As a parent it’s easy to become anxious. With 2,300 miles of distance separating us, I was stunned by the news, but surprisingly calm as I felt the sting of my son’s pain. We are all familiar with this sting as our children grow up. Many times it catches us off guard putting us into panic mode, yet this time around it was different for me. Though it was difficult news to hear I had peace.
We so want to protect our children from pain; perhaps we are at fault for never allowing our children to feel it, experience it, or process it. However without pain there is no progress; without pain there is no promotion. It becomes problematic when we present a pain free life as the ultimate goal in life, because in the midst of pain a greater purpose is always produced. We might not always see it or understand it at the time, but God is always working out things for our good even when pain is taunting us.
While many people are popping pills to relieve themselves from anxiety and a panic free life, through this painful experience I discovered that God’s peace is the greatest pain killer.
Here’s how I found God’s peace and kept it:
I found peace in silence. When I first heard the news I didn’t panic, I began to process. As I mentioned earlier, I felt pain’s sting but I didn’t allow it to strip me of God’s peace. I didn’t have a lot to say to console my son. What came out of my mouth was, “God is in control.” When we are confronted with pain we have a choice to stay calm or step into chaos. I chose to be still. It’s in stillness that we find God’s strength to stand.
I found peace in confidence. Faith is the unshakable confidence in the character of God. Knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace I was confident that Jesus had already put the pain of this situation in its place. When I’m coming from a place of solitude it brings me into a place of fortitude. Fortitude enables me to encounter danger, bear pain or adversity with confidence and courage that comes from the revelation that I am an overcomer in Christ Jesus. I am therefore never overwhelmed by pain, but overcome pain through confident faith.
I found peace in patience. There were a lot of details I had to immediately deal with after I received the phone call from my son. I had to talk to trainers, find the right physician, call friends, set up appointments, arrange travel and try to get everything aligned just right. When we panic the pain we are dealing with can seem intolerable, yet when we are patient peace becomes attainable.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (The Message – James 1:2-4)
To keep our peace often times we have to find it while pain is shouting its loudest. Silence, confidence and patience that is obtained through faith in God can turn down pain’s volume and lead you to a place of peace.