Job by Léon Bonnat c.1880, via Wikimedia Commons
Pain is hard to bear, Master,
even the dulled pain following sedation.
It stifles thought and smothers desire,
draining one of all but the longing to be free from its tyranny.
Help me to bear pain bravely, Lord.
without feeling sorry for myself
or envious of others less afflicted;
without venting my strained nerves on those around me.
Pain can teach me many lessons, Master.
It links me with suffering humanity all round the world,
Leveling all classes, shades of color and nationalities.
The groan of pain is the same in all languages,
it unites us all.
It is nature’s warning that something is wrong,
and in that sense is invaluable,
but to be in constant pain, unalleviated,
is to be reduced in human potential.
I do not ask to escape pain, Lord,
but I ask to be able to bear my share of it
where it is inevitable,
without feeling that you have forsaken me,
or ceased to care for me.
Let pain be your messenger to my heart
Not a welcome one, certainly,
but one that can teach a lesson of endurance,
of compassion for others,
and of my great dependence upon you,
and your hourly help.
Flora Larsson, 1904-2000, missionary in the Salvation Army
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.