This week my doctor removed a very tiny growth from my nose. It was tucked in the corner beside my eye and although I'm not the least bit worried about it, it was the two stitches that caused my discomfort. Situated exactly where the nose pads on my glasses sit, each time the two would connect, it hurt! It seemed that I was forever adjusting my specs, changing the band aid that insisted on slithering around my nasal appendage and wincing every time metal touched sutures.
I didn't realize how excessive my complaining until, during my regular excursion to one of our local seniors' care facilities, I stopped playing the piano a few times. In response to the question, "why", I poured out my lament. One gentleman who rarely communicates provided wisdom and insight into the situation: "What's the fuss?" he asked. "You don't play with your eye". I got the message.
This morning my nurse/son removed one stitch with the promise to follow doctor's orders and take out the last one tomorrow. More than once during the procedure I whimpered; he reminded me that having my kids probably hurt more. Second word of wisdom in as many days.
Now I'm not downplaying pain. Whatever its origin or severity, it hurts and I've had enough of it in my life that I truly prefer to avoid it. What makes the difference to me, though, is that not only does Jesus see my pain, he's experienced it. Christ knew rejection by family, slander of his character, dismissal by religious leaders and the ultimate agony of crucifixion. Because he understands my pain, his presence brings comfort to my heart in the midst of my suffering.
"Keep and guard me as the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 17:8 (Amplified)