For those of you who have had slip disc problems if not slipped disc themselves, you know the pain I’m talking about. Mine began after I injured my spine a few years ago. Whenever my lower back starts to ache, I take the warning signals seriously and try to rest it as much as possible. I may take a few painkillers here and there, but I avoid taking it regularly for one reason. When I take them, I feel much better and get back to my usual lifestyle.. to being hyperactive! Then it suddenly flares up worse than it was a few days prior to that. I have realised that pain is a good thing – it’s a warning that we have over taxed our bodies, and they need the rest. Hardly taking pain killers keeps me under control to give it the rest that my body needs rather than what my mind tells me! They may kill the pain, but they don’t treat the problem.
Likewise with drugs for stress, especially distress. They may numb the pain, but they do nothing to deal with the symptoms. In fact, our bodies get used to the drugs and need higher dosage. According to Alan & Barbara Pease, people drink alcohol and take drugs to try to feel how happy people feel normally.
Often our perspectives is what causes us to be anxious and negative. We don’t see pain as a good thing, something that is a warning sign to beware, to watch out and to proceed with caution. Imagine the lepers who don’t feel pain and hence touch fire and burn a digit etc and still not realise it.
We need to be grateful that we can feel pain and deal with it. Those who don’t deal with it because of denial or anger or unforgiveness tend to absorb themselves into something else becoming -aholics! Whether alcoholics or work-aholics or shop-aholics or drug addicts or … even things that seem ‘positive’ become an issue when over done. A number of people who keep themselves busy with over activity are those who are burying pain within and pretending that everything is ok. What happens when you continually sweep dirt and rubbish under the carpet and never get rid of it?
Jesus dealt with his pain – knowing what lay ahead of Him when in the garden of Gethsemane. The pain was too much that His sweat began to pour like as if though it was blood… He asked His disciples to stay watch and pray… In addition to that, He cried His heart out to His Father in heaven,
“Take this cup of suffering away from Me, YET not my will but Yours be done!”
David was no different and likewise with other psalmists! They poured our their anguish, their hurts, their pains, their agonies… and then they surrendered it all to God so that His will be done – whether pain or no pain. Paul too surrendered his desires and plans to God so that God’s will be done and His Name be glorified. He writes that he knows what it’s like to have plenty and what it’s like to go hungry yet he knows how to be content… Mary, mother of Jesus was afraid when the angel appeared to her. She would have known the rejection and the trial ahead of her. Yet, she surrendered her heart and said, “Be it unto me”.
It is only through pain and suffering that we experience surrendering of self and our strength to relying on God experiencing intimacy with Him. However, we need to deal with the pain and release it so that our strength can be the joy of the Lord.
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning – Psalm 30:5
As we begin to rejoice, we are able to cope with pain, let alone often get healing as our body, soul and spirit are inter-related..