There are two types of pain we experience in this life. One is a result of growth and maturation. Just as a child experiences pain from new teeth or legs lengthening, so too, we often experience the pains associated with spiritual growth. It is by Hashem’s design, and part of His plan. This type of pain makes us desire comfort and closeness to our Creator; it reinforces our relationship with Him as our Father.
The other type of pain is self-inflicted. This pain is a result of our disobedience or wanting to do it our way. This is not the pain G-d desires for us to experience. Just as no parent likes to see his child hitting himself in the head with his hands, Hashem does not delight in us hurting ourselves. It grieves Him that we run headlong into painful situations that are avoidable.
Whether the pain is by design or self-inflicted, the desired end result of our Father is that we will return to Him and find comfort in His arms, that we will become more intimate with our Creator and become more compassionate to the pain of others, and able to more fully love as He loves.
© 2015, Sarah S. Walters