Insights on Coping with Pain and Suffering

Insights on Coping with Pain and Suffering

Day 3 of 40

Pain and Suffering Often Lead to Isolation

Isolation tends to exacerbate one’s experience of pain and suffering. Don’t isolate yourself.

Feeling isolated from the healthy world can cause suffering for those experiencing any form of pain. As a society, we tend to label people in light of the pain and suffering they have experienced: the woman with cancer, the tornado victims, the man whose mom has dementia, the victim of sexual abuse. Such labels can lead to a loss of identity for those so named.

In the Bible, Mark 5:24–34 tells the story of a woman who had “suffered a great deal” for twelve years because of a bleeding disorder. Seeing Jesus, she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Hidden by the crowd, she reached out, touched Jesus’ cloak, and “immediately her bleeding stopped.” Jesus turned around and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” No one came forward. “But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” Afraid she would be admonished for touching Jesus while unclean, “the woman . . . came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.” Jesus responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Jesus sensed this individual woman’s touch and was interested in knowing about her.

Don’t let your pain isolate you from those who can emotionally and spiritually support you. Reach out to God and others.

Consider This:

  • In what ways has your experience with pain and suffering caused you to become isolated from others?
  • What initial steps could you take to begin reconnecting with others?
  • Who are the trusted individuals in your life to whom you could reach out?

Take Action:

Identify local support groups and a local church to which you can reach out in order to end your cycle of isolation. Although you might prefer that others reach out to you first, take a risk and initiate contact. Pray that God will guide and prepare them to respond positively to you.

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