God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, ch. 6.

Pain is super difficult. It can harden our hearts, change our personalities, tempt us to abuse the people we love the most, or even curse God and turn our backs on Him. Many have made this choice–I can’t say I blame them, nor can I say with absolute confidence I wouldn’t do the same. The devil was pretty certain that pain and suffering would turn the heart of righteous Job into a cursing wretch (see the Book of Job in the Bible).

But many throughout the centuries have testified that pain has drawn them closer to God. That suffering allowed them to understand the suffering of Our Lord in a new and important light. That suffering intensified their hope of heaven, increased their empathy for others who have gone through terrible times, and opened doors of opportunity to speak hope into the lives of others as they testify to the Lord’s daily provision of grace for their time of need.

So our pain presents us with a choice. Lewis says God is speaking shouting. Will we listen?