Two of the most mysterious gifts from God are time and pain.
Time is a gift of precious capital from the Lord. It is mysterious because we do not know how large the gift is in amount, we are only aware (at some point) that it is running out. Although we talk about it in terms of spending it, we rarely spend it wisely. Its importance is that it is given us to invest for eternity. Its preciousness is that squandered it brings short term pleasure but infinite loss. Wisely used it is often accompanied by painful sacrifice, but brings infinite gain.
Few consider that pain is a gift from God. Whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, when we feel pain we know something is very wrong and that if it persists we have been or will be harmed. Pleasure can often be deceptive, pain never is. The pain of the hangover states truthfully and unequivocally that drunkenness has harmed your body, belying the pleasure of the binge.
God gifted us with pain so that we could quickly perceive the danger of our actions. Physical pain is easily understood by us: instantly I understand that my thumb should not be hit again by the hammer. Other forms of pain are often misinterpreted. Emotional pain causes us to assess the actions of other people, but such actions generally only result in more pain for ourselves. Even when we assess our own actions we often come to the wrong conclusions about what should be done. We may seek retaliation, we may angrily withdraw, we may isolate ourselves, we may continue in the situation unaltered: all actions that bring more pain and increasing harm.
Inevitably, great pain points us to the fact that we require someone else to help us with the cause of the pain. Great pain tells us that we have little time until we will suffer great and permanent harm unless we are helped. As we age, moving in time, there is a level of pain that continually increases for us–the accumulated injuries of all the painful events, big and small. All of which points us to a healer who can deal with all of our pain: the one who bore all our pain at Gethsemane and Calvary, who captures all our tears, the Author who wrote the suffering and triumph of our stories. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.