The presence of pain focuses our minds on the present. The now.

Things are a little different with happiness, though. Happiness can make you focused and present, but it makes time run like a hamster on coffee.

Pain, instead, reduces time to a standstill. It makes us think whatever we are feeling or whatever sad situation is happening to us at the moment is all there is. Prolonged emotional pain is like a nightmare where you are shouting, kicking, struggling - all in the bid to wake up and escape your nemesis - but nothing is working.

Ecclesiastes 1:4-10 echoes the theme that nothing lasts forever. This is a true constant. The problems of today always become the tales of tomorrow, if we still have our lives (one more reason to be thankful for our breaths). Lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost fortunes, marital problems, ill health, etc... will all be stories of the past - stories that'll end up on a good note if we persevere and try not to get swallowed up by the intense pain in our lives.

So my plea is for us to hang in there. By "hanging in there", I mean we should labour to take our eyes of our pain. Even when it gets dragged back, let's take it off again. It would surely get dragged back again, but we must not get tired of taking our eyes off it.

How do we take our eyes off? Well, I do that by reading, taking walks, staring at sunrises, gawking at sunsets, watching comedy shows (and cartoons), drawing, writing, listening to music and podcasts, gaming, etc. Yours may be different from mine, but we all have ways of taking our minds off things. I do not recommend drinking (I mean alcohol, c'mon), trolling, self-mutilation, shopping (burning through your bank account will lighten your wallet, but not your heart), and similar activities.

Those with spiritual leanings have an advantage of seeking a spiritual angle to their situation and trusting God to make relevant lessons apparent as well as making things right in His time.

So, yes... let's try and hang in there, okay?

** Photo used is "Pain" by Lien C. Lau and made available under a CC BY 2.0 license