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Understanding the Gift of Pains

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did, by the pains you avoided than the ones you faced. To avoid the pain of this disappointment, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails, explore, dream, discover and grow, don’t flee from your pains, face it squarely. Although the gift of pain may bring a temporary hurt and pressure, it will certainly be of help and bring its pleasure appropriately ~ Sarah Brown

Memory of the Past …

Look behind reminds me of an event that I want to share with you to shed more light on the necessity of the gift of pains.

It happened during my secondary school days. The football team of my school has been known to be a cheap side for other team in the Annual Inter-school Football Competition until a PHE teacher was transferred to my school. He decided to take the school team up and started with rigorous training with the team; I sometimes watch them train and I can feel the pains of the training.

Sometimes,  the teach will subject them to long hour of training and intemperate exercises. Gradually this was equipping them for the challenges ahead and preparing them a place on the platform of success.

Later in the year, the annual football competition started as usual but to the amazement of everyone something had changed about my school team. The team keep defeating teams from other schools until it finally lifts the golden cup and this success continued till I finished from the school.

Here is the bottom line, while many people are looking at the team lifting the golden cup, I was looking at the process that led it, and I discovered that though it was not easy, yet it was worth it.

Understanding …

Application of information is hanged on three focal points, these are knowledge, understanding and wisdom. While Knowledge is light and Wisdom is the principal thing, the connecting point between these two is Understanding because it is understanding that leads to the correct application of knowledge which is what wisdom represents.

It is not only sufficient to be aware of the gifts of pain that comes our ways in life but we must have the clarity of this so that we can get the profits it has to offer. It is those that understand the content in the gift of pains that will face it and those who can’t understand will simply avoid or flee from it.

Most of the time what we understand about the gift of pain is the hurt that comes with it but that is only on the surface level, there are deeper things that we must understand about it so that we can grow through it and be made perfect through it.

The Manual Book of life says that for the time being, no discipline (gift of pain) brings joy but it seems grievous and painful, but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness, which results in right living, to those who have been trained by it.

It is the understanding of this gift beyond the surface level that helped people who are have become stars today to go through their pains despite the scars it placed on them. When you come across any star, don’t just checking their twinkling light, look for their scars on them because there is no star without scars but what helped them to bear the scars that led to them to stardom is the understanding of the gift of pain, the bridge that connects them to their destination.

There are some understanding that one must have about the gift of pain that will enable us to bear it , go and grow through and also be refined by it as seen in the case of gold.

  1. It is the Path to Pleasure

It is by the way of pain that we arrive at pleasure ~ Marquis 

Every pressure that we are going through in life is meant to produce pleasure for us and precious things in and for us. Many people want to cross to pleasure in life without the desire to pass through the pressure that comes with it. They want to pass examination without diligent study, so they look for wonderlands all over; they want promotion that they are not ready to work for, so they therefore look for shortcuts that will cut them short; they want to get to the top of the tree without going from its bottom and they continue to fall off the trunk;  they want the enjoyment but not the endurance that leads to it; they want the glory but hate the gall; they desire the crown but don’t want to see the thorn. But we have to understand that these are the things located in the gifts that pains brings to those who diligently pass through and ensure that they grow through it. They will certainly receive all that it has to offer them at the end of the day.

2. It builds Capacity for Strength

The gift of pains does not leave those that receives it the same but it builds capacity for strength in them. Just as it happens that you don’t go to the next class or level without passing examination or necessary tests which are meant to examine your competence for such a position or class. If you will only understand your pain, your will go through it gladly because it will make you better and stronger at the end of the day. It is through the gift of pains that we build the capacity to enjoy and sustain our pleasures in life. the pains that you feel today is the strength that you get tomorrow.

You must be built to operate and be sustained in the height that you are going.

3. It brings out the Best in Individuals

Human being is a bundle of treasures, because we have the treasures loaded in our earthen vessel but many a times we never what we are capable of doing until we are subjected to the pains that brings them out of us. In the ore state, gold never knew that they can shine until they were subjected to furnace that brought the best out of them. As someone puts it that necessity is the mother of invention.

Out of sufferings have emerged the strongest souls; the massive characters are seared with scars ~ Khalil Gibran

4. It is to prepare you for Greater Heights

Our light affliction (gift of pains) is working for us a better weight of glory. It must be understood that the gift of pain that you embrace today is preparing you for the gain of tomorrow. The sleepless night that you are keeping today, the candles that you are burning from end to end, the sacrificial investment, the labour and services of today is the preparatory ground for tomorrow’s greatness.

5. It is but for a Short Period

The period to go through the pain is so short compared with the period of the gain it will bring. The period of apprenticeship or internship cannot be compared to the period to practice the skill. So also, the period that it takes to burn the candles and prepare for examination cannot be compared to the greater future that lies ahead but it must be clear to us that it is the momentary pains that produce our permanent gains.

Tough time never last, it is tough people that do last

When you are confronted with the option to flee or face the gift of pain, always remember that people go through much pains trying to avoid pain. Hence, it is not just about the pain of the moment but the gain that it offers you that gives its deserving meaning.

Therefore, whatever the pain, don’t let it keep you down, rather, let it fire you to the top.

Don’t let your pain keep you down, let it fire you up to the top

The Gift of Pains (3): The Necessity of the Gift

You may have had unfair things happen to you, but the depth of your pain is just an indication of the height of your future ~ Joel Osteen

From the previous posts, it is clear that pain is hurtful and it affects the whole system of man but we have seen so far that the gift of pain must not be avoided or rejected because anyone that avoids such a gift today, cannot avoid the consequence tomorrow. For example, anyone that avoids the pains and cost of his education today will face the consequences of ignorance later in his or life. Then, if pain is so unavoidable, we must face it squarely when it comes.

If you face the pain now, you will enjoy the gain later

The gift of Pains comes to us at a point or the other in life but it our attitude that determines what we can bring out of it. We have seen the attitude of Joseph and several notable men and people of influence in our contemporary time, they all have something to say about their gifts of pains and how they were able to embrace it and the outcome of such experience is very clear for all to see.

On the other hands, minions also spread all over the earth with the share of their pie of pains and regrets due to their refusal to embrace the gift of pain meant for their journey in life.   Indeed, the reality is that people go through more pain while trying to avoid pains of necessity!

Many people believe that everything that is pleasurable in life must come by the way pleasure, and this made them to constantly search for every way to short-circuit the process of their pains but the real thing is that there is no short cut to the top of a tree than to begin from its bottom.

The Connecting Bridge

The summary of life’s events is that the gift of pain is real and for anyone to cross over to his desired haven in life, there is a bridge to cross and that is where the gift of pain is located. Many people got to this bridge and turned back as seeing in the case of the Israelite who were very close to entering into the Promised Land but they feared, the appearance of the giants (the contents in the gift of pain presented to them), they murmured and perish in the wilderness. But the quote from Williams Shakespeare is worthy of note, he said, pain pays the income of every precious thing.

Pain pays the income of every precious thing ~ William Shakespeare

Pain is an experience that is not friendly to man but it is what connects to the pleasures of life. Moments of pains could be described as when one is stuck in the valley of suffering and such a moment is never desirable but they are necessary and unavoidable as Marquis de Sade mentioned that it is by way of pain that one arrives at pleasure.

There is a generation of people who want to arrive at the destination of pleasure without going through pain that heralds it. However, we must know that the pain of necessity is not a pain that was inflicted on you as a result of an error or misdeed or that comes as a result of cause and effect but it comes as something that one must go through and grow through.

Always remember that anything that you want and that is valuable to you requires you to break through a short-term pain in order to gain a long-term pleasure but those who reject the short-term pain, will enter fully into their long-term suffering, time will tell.

You must break through the short-term pain to access the long-term gain

Do you experience a sort of pain presently, in your studies, your business, career, ministry, etc. it is not a moment for you to quit but to press further because quitters cannot win and winners cannot quit. Joel Osteen mentioned that you may have had unfair things happen to you, but the depth of your pain is an indication of the height of your future. Therefore, instead of rejecting the gift of pain, gladly embrace it and grow through it, it will certainly deliver its treasures to you.

The joyful thing about life is that after the rain, the sun will reappear and at the end of the tunnel there are beams of light, then after the pain, the you will still appear because weeping of pain only endures for a night, the dawn of joy is on its way.

The pain you experience in life should not make you look down on your self or make you look backward and lose sight of your tomorrow.

Declutter: The Law of a Single Eye in Leadership

Benjamin Suulola
An overcrowded life that scatters a focus is a life that weakens, limits, kills effectiveness and dilutes the purity of purpose and perfection.

In following up our series on Lead to Next: How to take your organization to the next level. I see the need to discuss this important matter on decluttering.

Decluttering is simply the act of removing unnecessary items from an overcrowded place like a home. But much more than a physical place or home, my focus is the life – your life as a leader.

If there is anything that is needed and required urgently in many of us who are called to leadership, it is decluttering.

This sin of cluttering lies in occupying ourselves with so many things that are less important to the main thing we ought to devote ourselves to.

The necessity to remove unnecessary activities, purposeless busyness, mundane things in order to focus on what is important is what many of us need at this time.

An overcrowded life that scatters a focus is a life that weakens, limits, kills effectiveness and dilutes the purity purpose and perfection.

A Leader that refuses to declutter will always be the one to answer the question that God asked in Isaiah 55:2, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy?”

Let’s look at the two questions raised here.

Why Do You Spend Money for What is not Bread?

The question here is challenging a commitment to things that returns no strength in value. Things of no eternal and Kingdom value.

The things that have no lasting fulfillment and reward. That’s what it means to spend money for what is not bread.

There are many leaders today who have committed themselves, resources and their purchasing power on junk labour, assignment, ministry, business and all kinds of projects that will waste rather than to give them a fulfilling strength.

When you spend your money for what is not bread. It is a wasteful spending. It calls for decluttering your life, organization or ministry.

Why Do You Spend Your Wages for What Does not Satisfy?

The second question is also addressing the use of what is hard-earned on what cannot meet a real need.

There are things that cannot satisfy our longing to fulfil God’s purpose whether in our vocations or callings. These things cannot give us real joy even if they have been able to bring more money, titles, fame and whatever success into our lives. They have no capacity to enrich our soul in terms of spiritual joy.

Whatever that costs us so much to get must not be carelessly spent for what will not truly satisfy us on the longer view of eternal perspective. 

Our life’s purpose, relationship with God and the redeemed life costs Jesus so much to get for us. We cannot afford to spend these for what will not satisfy Christ in our lives.

Based on the two questions we have discussed, the answer is decluttering. We respond to decluttering by yielding ourselves to the law of single eye.

We will discuss more on this law in the next article. But the power of this single eye is what gives us the ability to focus on what commands the greatest strength and satisfaction for our organization and even in our personal lives.

The law of single eye is a correct state of mind which helps us to declutter in order to focus on what will bring our lives and organizations into full brightness of purpose and performance.

As we look forward to discuss more about this law in the next devotion, I want to ask you personally.

What is taking up your time different from the real assignment you ought to focus on?

What are you spending your time on which is draining you rather than empowering you in your purpose?

What are the areas you need to declutter so that you can be effective on the main assignment you have been given in your organization?

The Gift of Pain (2)

If indeed, there is no crown without thorn and there is no gain without pain, then necessarily when these pains come they should be embraced and not rejected because fleeing from such a pain is fleeing from the benefits, blessings and gains that is accompanying it.

Behind every beautiful thing there is a kind of pain ~ Bob Dylan

Contrasting nature of pains and gains

Unarguably, without pain there can be no gain and it is the distasteful nature of pain that is meant to produce the tasteful nature of gains and it is certain that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The contrasting nature of pain and gain is what makes them attractive or repelling but we must look beyond the nature of pain to the gain that it will bring eventually. It can be seeing that while pain is hurtful, gain is helpful; while pain unpleasant, gain is pleasant and welcoming; while pain is unfriendly the gains that it brings is enjoyable, needed and good to us.

When these contrasting views are carefully considered, it can be concluded that the gains of pains are always greater than hurtful nature of the pain. Hence, when pain comes to us as a gift there may be a demand that we embrace it, especially if it comes from the heart that meant the good for us.

 

Embracing the Gift of Pain

The world, from time immemorial, is filled with the chronicles of people who embraced the gift of pains and the outcome of their resolutions. These men did not just arrive at the platform of glory and gains without the story of pain that accompanied their journeys; they all bore the scars that took them to their stardom in life and their professions.

Although the world is full of pains, it is also full of the outcome of it ~ Gains

Sometimes ago, a young man approached me  to have a moment with me. I quickly left what I was doing to give him the needed attention. In our conversation, he shared with me what he was going through; how it seems he was having terrible blows from all around him and he concluded that it was painful and hurtful. He finally mentioned his decision to quit.

That was when I came in. I let him know that many people never knew how close they were to their breakthrough when they quit because of a sort of pain that they encountered. I explain to him that the experience he was having was the gift of pain for him to embrace and grow through it. He must not sit confused, dejected and rejected through it because it is by the way of pain that one arrives at pleasure. I  concluded with him that if he will be patient with the painful process, the pain will be very useful to him. This is how we all receive the gift of pain at a point or the other in our lives and we are required to embrace it and grow through it.

The path of pains leads to pleasure

Joe and the Gains of his Pains

Joseph was a man who climbed to the platform of gains despite all the pains that raise their heads at him. I wonder what the life of that young man and beloved of his father would have been if he had not passed through the process of pains that necessitated his rising from obscurity to the platform of fame.

What could be more painful to be betrayed and sold at a giveaway price by his brothers who  he confidently share your dreams, visions, plans and deep secrets with. It could be very painful to be sold and sent away from the loving arms of his father into a strange land. It will be very painful to be disbelieved by a master that he has served faithfully and wholeheartedly and ensure smooth running of his businesses even in his absence but chose to listen to lies being told against him and the event landed him at the National Maximum Prison. It could also be very painful to be forgotten by a friend that he met in the prison and has promised heaven and earth to ensure his immediate release through his political influence, proving his innocence on the matter that he was accused of.

 

The experience of this young man continues. They bruised his feet with cruel chains or fetters and put his neck in iron collar. Literally, these are not friendly experiences but something energized and encouraged this young man through the pain, he refused to sit confused and embittered with this pains, rather he grew through it and discovered the treasure and the gains hidden in it.

Don’t just go through your pains, grow through it. That is where the gains lie

It got to a moment that the word set him free and he came to be in charge of all the resources of the land. Yet as a commander of the national officials, he was not resentful to his brethren that inflicted the pains on him earlier or those that ordered him to the prison. One of the thing that helped was the clear understanding of the nature of the pain and the focus on the gains that come with it. He operated the principle that if you fell sore today, you will get strong tomorrow.

The pain that you experience today is building in you the strength that you will express tomorrow

Sometimes we may need to be hurt in order to be helped and we may have to go so that we can grow. We may lose in order to gain, we may need to stoop to conquer and sometimes some lessons are best learnt through pains.

Therefore, if pain is a gift, instead of avoiding it we must learn to embrace it because without pain there will not be gain.

Tony Robbins said out of your deepest pain will come your greatest gifts but this can only come with clear understanding of what pains is. There is always a need for us to understand the gift of pains so that we can embrace it and not abscond from it.

Pain is a very precious gift, do not waste it ~ Martha Sngleterry

THE GIFT OF PAINS

Life is filled with many thing that we look forward to seeing, wonderful gift; gifts of people, possessions, positions and many desirable things. At the same time, it is filled with ups and downs, hills and valleys, mountains and plains and different seasons of life but it must be known that it is the combinations of these that make the best out of life.

Gifts are desirable. Everybody wants them, especially if they are thing that one needs at that moment. This gift could be physical or intangible but when it comes, it is often embraced  for the reason that it comes not as a result of your labour but due to the willingness and the kindness of the heart of the giver. No matter the size of a gift, it is welcoming, especially when it comes from the heart that is loving and kind. Hence, it is not the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.

It is not the size of the gift that matters but the size of the heart that gives it

On several occasion people had been presented different gifts – houses, clothes, motor car, scholarship, precious gems, books and other material things and to crown it all, our Maker is the Giver of gifts (James 1:17) and He gives unreservedly (James 1:5).

But in addition to the gifts listed, there is a particular gift that comes our way that we often want to avoid and if possible, we want to do without it, but the reality is that every gift has something important to do in our lives and this gift is the Gift of Pain.

While gifts are desirable pains are undesirable. When we go through pain, we feel hurt and confused, disturbed and disorganised. While some pains should be avoided, there are some that should be gladly welcome because of the outcome of such in our lives (Heb. 12:11). He that wants to avoid such a pain cannot avoid the consequences of the avoidance.

A student that does not want to go through the pains of going to classes and studying hard must be ready to welcome failure when it knocks; an entrepreneur that does not want to bear the pains of starting a business and weathering the storms will surely consume his seed of investment before it germinates; a minister of the Gospel that does not want to go through the necessary pains of the ministry will find himself in the category of people like Demas who quit ministry and abandoned faith.

However, it must be clearly understood that every good thing that we are seeing today passed through the process of pain. Remember before gold become attractive it must have gone through fire and the degree of the fire it passed through is what determines it lustre and its price in the market. Indeed anyone that will not leave his comfort zone cannot arrive at his comfort land, in other words journeying from comfort zone to comfort land requires going through the process of pain.

Anyone that will not leave his comfort zone cannot arrive at his comfort land

The Narrative from a Shining Gold

I wish we could approach these gold that we desire and spend fortunes to get and they will have something to tell us about how they were gently sitting in their ore state deep down in the soil, black, dark and uninviting. All of a sudden, they started hearing the sound of digging and terribly discomfiting and discomforting activities were being carried out on them. Shortly, the soil covering them were removed and that was not enough they were being cut in piece and evacuated from their comfort zone.

The narrative from one of the gold continues. From there, they were carried into the factory and brought before the waiting furnace in the processing area called the kiln. The fire was increased and they were pushed into it. The experience in the fire was not very sweet (as narrated).

Pain is necessary. Sometimes it is the teacher that we require to bring out the best out of us, indeed it is a hidden gift of healing and hope ~ Janet Jackson

It was hot and painful in the kiln and as the temperature is increasing so was the pain but after a while, when we examine ourselves we can see the dirt and impurities covering us being removed, indeed when the dross is taken away from the silver, there will be a vessel for the smith (Pro 25:4). We waited and patiently pass through the process in the furnace and here we are shining as everybody can see.

That is the imaginative report of one of the piece of gold that you spend fortune to get. It is always good that we imagine and know that they passed through processes of pains before emerging as the shining gold that can stand the test of times and seasons, and experiences of life.

 

Every pain is a gift and opportunity just as every disappointment will lead another appointment if properly engaged

Although, Pain is a gift that nobody wants but the reality of it is that it is unavoidable because life is not just about the pain but the result it brings. We will only begin to enjoy the benefits that pains stand to give us when we are seeing it in its true appearance, as a gift.

There is a silent beauty hidden amongst pain, if you will sit in it you may never find it but if you grow through it, you will find the treasure ~ Nickki Rowe