As I have grown older myself, I have experienced pain that I never noticed ten years ago, including neuropathy in my extremities and an increase in arthritis in my back. At times the pain can be enough to keep me awake, yet I have an exercise routine and a few medications, some herbal, that give relief. I look at it this way, if I can manage to get out of bed in the morning and have an eye opening cup of coffee and do my exercise regimen first thing, then I am ready to rock and roll along with life. On almost every day that is the outcome, yet there are times when I must rest and then feel better, but I know if I make it a habit, at some point I'll give up on walking and that means mobility is done. With my goal of being on my feet until I die like my grandfathers before me, I will labor on and it does make my feel both better and like I've accomplished something worthwhile.
But what about pain other than physical pain and are there other types of pain? Well, yes there are and they are every bit as hard to live with as physical pain. Oh, you might not hurt as in sharp pangs that double you over, but mental anguish, psychosis and, of course, dementia and alzheimer's are also pain that can be even more debilitating than the physical variety. Depression and hopelessness are very painful as we lose the zest for life and really just want to end. Suicide can often be associated with such a condition if not dealt with. Psychosis can take it to the point to change our personalities and lose all contact with reality and lose all of our loved ones while we are very much alive. If we become insane, we become incapable of taking care of ourselves and can become very violent not even knowing why as all reason is removed. And then two common old age issues, dementia and alzheimer's robs us of the joys of the reality that we once knew, yet the pain is probably more acute for those loved ones witnessing it than the patient who may be enjoying a day in the park as a child from many years ago. All, however are not preferred experiences.
Lastly, I mention a type of pain which some won't even acknowledge. Here I refer to spiritual pain, a pain which must be dealt with by those who have learned about Jesus and His purpose in life and have chosen not be believe it as they become "enlightened" by the secular world. Yet the more they look at the nature of things as they mature, the more their "enlightenment" supposedly proves their position, the more holes they find and it troubles them, creating spiritual pain. They must learn to deal with the pain and accept it, or come to the realization that the pain can be removed when they decide to accept what they learned in the first place. And trust me, the dilemma is present in many who may not show it, some even in church, but the turmoil between the evil one who is cheering them on to keep the secular view is in constant battle with the Spirit within him. Talking about a spiritual headache, it is strong.
Now I'm sure that we can come up with other categories of pain, but these three are covered her to give a look at how pain can inflict us in so many different ways and I think it's important to recognize it, for some could easily turn into physical issues as well since stress and worry and the loss of the mind can have major impacts which sometimes we don't even know.
So, my friends, pain is a reality and certainly so in our later years when we learn the truth about the old saying, "getting old is not for sissies." But at the same time, when we fight through it, we gain the joy of watching a grandson hit his first home run or the granddaughter receive accolades for her ballet recital performance. It's the pleasure of taking a walk in the park on a beautiful spring day or fishing on a pier off a beautiful beach. And what's more, the magic of the activity is that for a time, while we are focused on the fellowship and fun, we also find that the pain almost disappears as we experience the joy of life, not the agony of pain. And, what's more, if it is spiritual pain we suffer from, think about what it must be like in the Kingdom of the believers when this life is done as they inherit a new life in a new body, one free of pain and allowing us to enjoy those things we could do when we were young and pain free. Who knows, maybe that might bring us all to the Spirit and truly make us free.