The Ministry of Pain

George H. Morrison, in his daily E-Sword devotional, wrote about pain:

Whatever other functions pain may have, one is that it serves to fix attention. If there is anything harmful working in the body, it is supremely important that it should be localized, and so comes pain and rings the alarm bell, and concentrates attention on the spot.

Pain is the bugle sounding the reveille. Pain is the watchman crying on the walls. We should sleep on while the foe took the citadel were we not roused by the trumpet blast of pain. And though it is hard thus to be roused sometimes, and we are prone to murmur at the summons, yet better, surely, to be rudely wakened, than to be beaten by an insidious foe.

We shall never grasp some of God’s dealings with us unless we class them with that call of pain. Sometimes it were cruel to let us sleep; sometimes the only kindness is to wake us. And there are sorrows and failures and bitter disappointments which we can never hope to understand, until we realize they are God’s stratagems to fix our attention on the things which matter.