PAIN DEFINED. Catching up with a friend recently brought the added surprise that she’d undergone comprehensive shoulder surgery. Replete with this very elaborate but uncomfortable looking brace she explained the lengthy process of recovery, including pain management during the initial stages and how important it is post-operatively.
Having never undergone any major surgery myself the issue of post-operative pain management was a relatively new thing for me. The principle is this: if the patient is in pain they’ll be tense. Simplistically, tense musculature and other tissues will not readily release their toxins or facilitate rejuvenating blood flow etc, and recovery is therefore slowed.
Therefore, therapeutic pain management is crucial in post-operative recovery and care.
As my friend spoke I instantly thought how similar this is to the issue of spiritual healing and how unreconciled emotional and hence mental pain would almost always slow and even stunt the spiritual healing of a person. And then, of course, I thought of the reverse; that the miraculous spiritual healing of God would aid mental and emotional healing—a more holistic healing.
‘Pain management’ as far as mental and emotional pain is concerned must be about having the moral courage and strength (Joshua 1:9) to deal with emotional baggage promptly and adequately, or at the very least, deal with it at some point.
If we don’t learn to manage this pain in our lives our spiritual recovery is stunted, and our growth and potential is delayed.
Just because mental and emotional pain can be covered over by a veneer of life choice and comforts doesn’t mean it’s not there. Like paracetamol, the things we do to make the pain more bearable purely mask the pain, never dealing with the root cause.
The purpose of paracetamol is simply to help us cope with a temporary pain—pain that will resolve of itself—i.e. a headache or stomach ache etc. It is, however, no good for the person who’s suffering chronic (ongoing) pain. They’ll need a more invasive intervention. And so it is for mental and emotional pain; most often we must have a remedy that addresses the root cause.
Flipping this on its head then, we have the case for Christ, as far as Spiritual healing augmenting the mental and emotional realms of dysfunction is concerned.
Nothing is beyond the Spirit of God. Miracles are his business—the ‘stock in trade.’
Would it surprise you to learn that God is the answer to all your mental and emotional pain?—not just some of it; all of it. At a level beyond our understanding—proving it to be miraculous—he attends to the meaning of the pain. We still have the pain but it means less and it’s less limiting; indeed we can then triumph over the pain. Little by little the meaning is taken from the pain. And at some point the pain is basically all gone, but the appreciation of it remains—we honour the pain. It becomes a triumphant marker of whom we are and who we’ve become.
Spiritual healing is often the last thing thought of. Funny, we should be placing it first!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.