The nurse asked me how I would rate my ear pain on a scale from 1 to 10. I hesitated. It hurt badly enough to keep me up at night, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt as much plenty of other ailments and injuries people have experienced.
I settled on my answer: 7.
When the nurse practitioner looked in my left ear, she could barely get the tool in to see the ear infection I knew was there. Turns out there were two infections right there together. It was my FIFTH EAR INFECTION in eight months.
Maybe that justifies my 7 on the pain scale.
Maybe it doesn’t matter.
Pain is pain. My ear hurt and I was thrilled to have relief coming.
And, really, isn’t that the hope when we hurt? We long for relief. We hope for change.
Maybe you haven’t had an ear infection lately. But I’m guessing you’ve experienced some kind of pain recently. Relationships become strained. Accidents happen. Grief lingers. Expectations are dashed. The past can haunt.
Whatever your pain is, I do believe relief can come.
Actually, I believe relief has come.
Isn’t that what this season of Advent is about? We are celebrating Jesus coming as a baby in a manager so He could be the savior of the world while we are anticipating His second coming, which will bring eternal relief from pain.
Jesus brings hope & relief for our pain.
I know, holidays can be hard because grief can rise up amidst the twinkling lights. Pain doesn’t live by the calendar. Sometimes joy and sadness are so intertwined they can’t be separated.
And let me preach to myself for a moment: Pain is pain. Let’s not compare whatever hardship we’re experiencing now to something we’ve walked through before or a part of someone else’s story. Comparison in any area of life is a thief. With pain, we don’t need comparison to steal our relief or the redemption God has coming.
Okay, so maybe redemption isn’t part of my ear infection story. But that day in the doctor’s office I thought about the emotional and spiritual pains I’d experienced. I do believe with my whole heart God has used those times to write a much bigger story full of hope. And that’s where I want to rest when I hurt.