In the late 1980s, Klavan had sunk to a low point in his life. His mind dwelt on suicide. Then he heard Carter interviewed after a game. His team, the New York Mets, had won, and the aging catcher had helped by running hard at a critical point in the game. Carter was asked how he could do that with his aching knees. Klavan heard him say something like this: “Sometimes you just have to play in pain.” That simple statement helped draw Klavan out of his depression. “I can do that!” he declared. Encouraged, he found hope—and later became a believer in Christ.
The comforting truth behind Carter’s statement comes from Lamentations. We may face sorrow, pain, and hardship, but we don’t have to sink into self-pity. The same God who allows our suffering also showers us with His compassion (Lam. 3:32). With God’s love lifting us up, we can—if we have to—“play” in pain.