PAIN

 

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?  Jeremiah 8:22

 

Nighttime pain seems to go on and on, and the hours seem excruciatingly longer.  But finally, morning comes.

Just before daybreak several weeks ago, I called my son who lives fairly close by, and I told him I needed to go to the hospital.  The pain was becoming as much as I could bear, and I needed help.

Does everyone wait until the pain becomes intolerable before asking for help?  Or to make an appointment with the counselor?  Or to check in with a physical therapist?  Why we wait so long is not the point.  When the pain becomes more than we can bear, we usually ask for help.

So why is it that when we begin to have emotional or psychological angst, we find a way to cover it with distractions or denial, anything that makes the pain subside?  Except that it doesn’t go away.  It’s merely repressed.  Emotional or physical pain DOES NOT GO AWAY.  Time does not heal all wounds.

Just as an elevated temperature indicates infection in the body or unusual discomfort alerts us to abnormal body function, so the pain experienced with certain memories or chance encounters or random happenings should be a red flag about inner sickness.  Those aches that surprise us when we think we’ve moved beyond a hurtful relationship or emotional wounds should be recognized as God’s tender reminder of our need for his true, deep, and total healing.

God knows when we are spiritually mature enough to allow the deep wounds to emerge so that we can be forever healed.  Let us be at peace with psychological pain, even when it surprises us.  It’s God’s way of saying he wants to excise the thing that causes us to obsess on our inadequacies or someone else’s duplicity or any number of injuries that haunt us.  It’s his way of saying It’s time to be healed.

And we are healed by focusing on him, not the pain or ourselves, giving him all the wounds, all the wound-ers, and thanking him for his stripes that bring healing.  Then when we are tempted to revisit those wounds, we gently, again and again, turn our eyes away from the injury and back to Jesus who is our healer and the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Father, we are so engrossed with ourselves, even the worst part of ourselves, that we really need your saving power every single moment of every single day.  May we seek you and your Kingdom above all else that you may be glorified.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

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