faith, Family

The Genius of Pain

Pain Concept.

Our bodies are incredible. Consider for a moment what your body does that you don’t even think about. Breathing, digestion, circulation, healing, etc. I don’t have to get all sciency to prove it. We are incredible machines. One part about our body that doesn’t seem awesome, however, is pain. No one likes pain.

Pain is a pain.

But pain serves an invaluable service. Pain tells us that something is wrong. We should pay attention.

There are lots of different kinds of pain. Obviously there is physical pain. There is also emotional/ mental pain. Pain in our mind or heart can lead to physical ailments. Think stress. Mental stress from work, strained relationships, finances, and life can do painful things to our body. Headaches, muscle tension/ soreness, digestive issues, skin irritations, and compromised immunity to name a few. These symptoms are cues to alert us that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed. This is the genius of pain.

I injured my shoulder many years ago in a mountain biking crash. Even though doctors said they couldn’t find anything really wrong with my shoulder, I had intense pain every time I tried to throw. Over the years I saw different doctors and chiropractors who could not identify what was wrong except that I should get more expensive tests and likely have surgery. Instead of pursuing surgery and relief to my pain and the limitations to my life because of the injury, I decided to put up with it. I didn’t really NEED to throw stuff, and besides, many people have far worse problems than a bum shoulder so I shouldn’t fuss over it.

I gave up. I chose to live with the pain and the limitations that came with it instead of dealing with the issue directly. We do this all the time whether we have a physical pain like my shoulder or an emotional/ mental pain of some kind. We assume, “It is what it is;” and suffer through life carrying our bags of pain and burden we were not meant to carry. The emotional burdens of stress, low-grade depression, pent up anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. keep us from reaching our full potential. It doesn’t have to be like that. I want to encourage you that there is a way to relieve your pain. You are not alone.

There is hope.

If you know me at all, you will not be surprised to hear me share that my hope (and the only real solution for pain) is in Jesus. Jesus is the antidote to pain. Whether you believe it or not, God is in control of everything. We are not. Yes, there is pain in this world and in our life. Some pain lasts our entire life and it really stinks. However, since I have entrusted my life to Jesus*, I know that all pain is temporary. My life on earth is just a blink compared to eternity. Knowing with full confidence that my future will be awesome – free from all pain forever, I can endure the pain and trouble of today. And I know that Jesus is always with me and for me to help me get through whatever I’m facing.

If I didn’t believe God is in control and that he has given me all these amazing blessings as gifts for today and all eternity then my pain would be exceedingly horrible. I can have no hope. Or my hope would be foolishly misplaced in something else that could never satisfy the pain.

So here is the bottom line: Pain leads us to Jesus. Pain drives us to find relief and hope for relief of pain and true hope is Jesus. This is the genius of pain. When hope is sought in anything other than Jesus, it will leave us disappointed. The wanting and searching for hope is where addiction comes in. Chasing relief in something we can do, or take, or think, eventually gets us into big trouble. The empty “solution” provides temporary relief at best, so more and more must be done to get more temporary relief and round and round we go. Addiction. Not just drug addiction though. Addiction could be to gambling, porn, high risk activities, hoarding, work, etc. Nothing will really satisfy except Jesus.

I don’t know the pain you live with, but I do know the Great Physician. If you don’t know Jesus, I would love to chat with you about how you can know Jesus today. If you do know Jesus, I encourage you to trust him with your pain. Surrender your pain to Jesus and let him help you. Jesus is near and he knows your pain. He is for you and he is with you always and forever. I had never really thought about pain in this way before. Pretty cool, huh? You’re welcome. Press on!

*Entrusting my life to Jesus means I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I acknowledged to Jesus in prayer that I am a dreadful sinner in need of salvation to bring me into right relationship with the only holy and perfect God to whom I will give account of my life when I die. Without salvation I am condemned to eternity separated from God. Thankfully “For God so loved the world, (you and me) that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him (Jesus) shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 Salvation is the best gift we could ever receive, but Jesus gives us so much more. You’ll have to receive him to experience it for yourself, but I can assure you that life is way better with Jesus!

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