Pain Will Give You Far Better Perspective Than Comfort Can

photo credit: alharethahmed

photo credit: alharethahmed

Sometimes you mind your own business, watch a movie to unwind after a busy day, but something jumps out to grab your attention. And it might even teach you something valuable.

I viewed the film Interstellar for the second time. It has a haunting, poetic way about it, expressing deep characteristics of the human psyche, powerful emotions, and the will to explore. It’s the kind of movie you have to think about for a couple days after to really figure out what it means to you.

Kati and I talked about the movie the week after we watched it. She mentioned the beauty of the story, the power of love and spiritual connections across space and time, how sacrifice is always seen as the heroic thing to do, but perhaps the more significant things are to keep living and working toward a mission instead of dying for one.

Then she said that there is such unmatched beauty in the most difficult things in life. It’s inescapable how much good eventually comes out of evil.

We don’t get the beauty without the pain. (tweet that)

Shifting Our Perceptions

I heard an interview of an author who was a about to publish a book about joy but learned she had cancer. She didn’t know if she could say the same things about joy when cancer was a part of her life. But through the process of reconciling what she believed was true and her new experience with cancer, she found whole new dimensions of joy possible even within the impending darkness of a life-threatening medical condition.

Great beauty becomes possible through great sadness.

Our most challenging moments do not destroy what’s beautiful and good; they create new beauty and magnify it. Light shines through darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it.

Sources of Pain, Sources of Beauty

I think about my family, when I was barely a teenager, wrestling through health issues and unemployment. We were confused, frightened, and nearly frozen by fear, but we somehow found our footing and received the God-given resolve to make it one day at a time. I remember when we heard that my grandfather died, how I felt a sinking feeling in my gut, and I could tell you the exact song playing on the stereo at that moment.

Those are scars on our memories, but we learned how it could be true that God makes everything beautiful in its time. It didn’t make sense in those moments, but at least we became open to the possibility.

What if everything could be redeemed—what’s bad made good, over time and through small miracles?

Maybe for you, it’s the death of someone significant and you simply cannot fathom a way your life can find a new normal. Perhaps it’s a career that looks impossible to achieve or piece together, despite your most driven attempts. When we suffer great losses or collide with with the greatest challenges of our lives, the world appears ugly and insignificant.

Hold on. There may be greater beauty than you ever expected right around the corner.

What is one way you’ve seen great beauty come as a result of great pain or difficulty? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Learn more about the book I’m writing, which explores a way to live facing fears, doing what’s difficult, and thriving despite conflict. See updates and a chapter preview here.

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